The Garden Grove Unified School District plans to light the tennis courts, and football/track, baseball, softball, and soccer fields at La Quinta High School by installing 38 light poles. The proposed lighting improvements are prompted by the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 328, which requires high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. Instituting a later start time is expected to reduce the negative impacts of sleep deprivation on adolescents and give them multiple, safety, and learning benefits. However, with the later start time, schools will also end later, which will affect sports activities unless the athletic fields and courts are lighted for evening use.
The proposed sports lighting project would allow extended use of the listed athletic facilities into evening hours for the benefit of existing students. No additional student sports programs would be added that could increase participants or spectators. The proposed project would require limited demolition of hardscape and softscape to install lighting poles at the existing sports facilities. No structural demolition would be required.
The lighting has been designed to meet the California Interscholastic Federation field lighting recommendations for competitive events. Sports lighting would consist of concrete bases with galvanized steel poles between 50 and 90 feet tall, with LED luminaires mounted at heights ranging from 16 feet to 80 feet. Construction of the sports lights is anticipated to take five months and is scheduled to start on March 1, 2023, and finish by August 30, 2023.
As with the existing conditions, the newly lit athletic facilities would be available for use by community groups after school hours when the facilities are not in use by students and during weekends, as provided by the District’s use policy under the Civic Center Act.