Tennis court lighting

Fort Oglethorpe Parks and Recreation Director Chris Simpson discusses the need for new light for the tennis courts at Gilbert-Stephenson Park during the Jan. 13 City Council meeting.

In an effort to address the tennis court lighting at Gilbert-Stephenson Park, the city of Fort Oglethorpe has awarded a bid for new equipment at a cost of just under $14,000.

During the Jan. 13 City Council meeting, new Parks and Recreation Director Chris Simpson revealed recent bid results for new lighting equipment that’ll allow tennis-goers the opportunity to play even after dark.

“I come before you tonight to recommend approval to award a contract for replacing the tennis court lights at Gilbert-Stephenson Park,” Simpson said. “This will replace the lights, fixtures, and electrical equipment in the amount of $13,982.”

Simpson explained that the lights around the tennis courts have been in bad shape for a while and that one court currently has no working lights at all.

“The tennis court lights at the park — we have 16 total lights and we have eight poles — of these 16 lights, only four lights function,” Simpson explained. “We have one whole court that has no functioning lights. Most of this equipment is inoperable, outdated. Some has sustained water damage due to worn and rusted areas on the electrical panels.”

Per his recommendation, the work will completely overhaul the lighting system and hopefully make it run more efficiently for years to come.

“The repair project will include all new electrical equipment from the ground up to the light poles, along with new lights and fixtures,” Simpson said. “The mercury vapor lights that are there now will be replaced with 300-watt LEDs, which will increase the lifespan, maintain or exceed output, and increase the efficiency.”

Overall, Simpson said three companies bid on the project.

“Several requests for proposals were initiated and three responded,” Simpson said. “Crump Electric was the lowest bid. Crump Electric has an outstanding reputation in our community based on inspections, performs meticulous high-quality work, and always adheres to code.”

Before a vote was taken, council member Paula Stinnett asked about how the lights will be controlled.

“They do have timers. It’s more of a dusk timer where they’ll come on with a switch, so if we have patrons come up and want to play, they can turn them on with a switch, but then they’ll turn off based on the timer every night — I believe at 11 o’clock every night,” Simpson explained.

The board unanimously approved the contract award.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area.

He has been a reporter since 2009.

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