Castle High School’s football team will get a home-field advantage after all.
Lights at the stadium were fixed faster than anyone expected.
KHON2 was the first to tell you about the problem, which drew complaints from many parents who were told that the football field could not be used at night for the entire season.
Parents were told that home games would be played away because of corrosion on the light fixtures. There was concern the lights could fall, so they had to be taken down. That made it too dark to play on the field.
Just eight days ago, the Department of Education told us the light fixtures had to be replaced, and the work wouldn’t be done before the end of football season.
So what changed? Teamwork.
Ten rusted safety brackets and straps have been replaced, so the lights are good to go for kickoff, and parents are excited.
“I think everybody’s going to be happy with the fact that we get home games,” said parent Teri Silva.
There will be a home game at the school next week Friday against Mililani. But students are even more excited that next month’s homecoming game against Kailua will be at home.
“A lot of kids want to play in their home field,” Silva said. “The seniors want to have their senior night, their homecoming game at Castle, so I think it’s important that they took that into consideration and they’re getting it done.”
“The big concern obviously was homecoming,” said state Sen. Jill Tokuda, who is a Castle High School graduate and big supporter. “You’ve got a lot of seniors. They’ve got a lot of pride, and they’re going to want to make sure that they can have certain milestones right here on their own campus.”
Tokuda says everyone at the school was frustrated when they first found out about the problem, and there were many offers to help.
“Did you get a lot of calls in your office?” KHON2 asked.
“Oh yes,” Tokuda replied. “We definitely heard from some very passionate parents, like I mentioned, especially senior parents who wanted to watch their students play one last time on the field.”
Tokuda said no short cuts were taken to get the job done so fast, just everyone working as a team to get kids back on their field, and make sure it’s safe.
“It really comes down to everyone working together from the school level to the department complex area and the state level, everyone on the same page, understanding what needs to be done that makes projects work right and work well,” Tokuda said.
“I’m super happy,” said Silva. “I think a lot of parents are probably just as happy when they get the final word, the official word, and I think for all the senior parents, that’s a major plus.”
The DOE will eventually replace the stadium lights with energy efficient LED light bulbs, but that will be done after the football season.