Playing Football in the Dark at GHS: Parents Not Happy as Daylight Savings Converges with Later Dismissal

At GHS, runners wore reflective vests as the sunk began to sink. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

After school GHS, runners wore reflective vests as the sunk began to sink. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

The Greenwich High School JV football team played Ridgefield on Field 7 on Monday afternoon, which happened to be the first day after clocks “fell back” over the weekend.

That loss of an our of daylight, combined with the loss of an hour of time after school due to the new school start and dismissal times left the football players in semi-darkness for the second half of their game.

Toward the end of the game the light was mostly gone. Afterward, both teams gathered for a debrief under the lights of cell phones and flashlights.

Due to a 2003 agreement the town of Greenwich made with neighbors of the Hillside Road campus, athletic fields cannot be illuminated, but for a limited number of days, and only in field 1, which is referred to as Cardinal Stadium.

The Board of Education recently voted affirmatively on a resolution to bless the town proceeding with litigation to modify that 2003 agreement that limits lighting, but the litigation could take some time.

In the meantime, parents are upset about their student athletes sitting in traffic to get to competitions and getting home late, tired and hungry.

Last week parents were taken aback to see how simple it was for Greenwich Country Day School to install temporary lights and initiate a new tradition of Friday Night Lights for football games.

Zoning regulations are much more stringent for town property and an application to use a field at Central Middle School for GHS rugby stalled recently. The application will return to the P&Z commission on Nov 9.

GFP asked P&Z director, Katie DeLuca if it might be possible to build a field house on the GHS campus and whether the school has maxed out its FAR.

Indeed DeLuca said the FAR is maxed out and a variance of FAR for the MISA project (musical instruction space and auditorium) had been granted by the ZBA several years ago.

She said there are three options for future development at the High School given that the site is maxed out with respect to available floor area.

The first is for the school to seek another variance for additional floor area.

The second is to rezone the property to a zone that would provide for more floor area.

The third option is to amend Section 6-205 (Note 7b) of the zoning regulations to allow additional floor area for educational institutions in zones other than the RA-2 and RA-4 zones, which are the two zones that currently have that option.

“In my opinion, the third option is the most appropriate,” DeLuca said.

At GHS, there was a rainbow over the GHS swimming pool. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

After school at GHS, there was a rainbow over the swimming pool. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

The GHS JV football team waited on field 7 for their opponents. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

The GHS JV football team played on field 7,  Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

The sun began to set over the GHS fields. Nov 5, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

The sun began to set over the GHS fields. Nov 5, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

 

The lights went on in houses adjacent to the GHS fields. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

The lights went on in houses adjacent to the GHS fields. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

 

The sun beginning to set over field 7 at GHS on Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

The sun beginning to set over field 7 at GHS on Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera won't photograph without flash. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera needed a flash to photograph, Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Headlights of cars shone from the parking lot and parents held up flashlights as the JV football game proceeded on field 7 in semi-darkness on Nov 6, 2017, the first day after daylight savings time and new dismissal times converged Photo: Leslie Yager

Headlights of cars shone from the parking lot and parents held up flashlights as the JV football game proceeded on field 7 in semi-darkness on Nov 6, 2017, the first day after daylight savings time and new dismissal times converged Photo: Leslie Yager

The JV football game versus Ridgefield completed on field 7 with no lights, close to 5:30pm on Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

The JV football game versus Ridgefield completed on field 7 with no lights on Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Coaches on the sidelines at the end of the JV football game on field 7 in the semi-dark. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Coaches on the sidelines at the end of the JV football game on field 7 in the semi-dark. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera flash illuminates field as JV football players walk back toward GHS following game on field 7 against Ridgefield. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera flash illuminates field as JV football players walk back toward GHS following game on field 7 against Ridgefield. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera flash illuminates field as JV football players walk back toward GHS following game on field 7 against Ridgefield. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera flash illuminates field as JV football players walk back toward GHS following game on field 7 against Ridgefield. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera flash illuminates field as JV football players walk back toward GHS following game on field 7 against Ridgefield. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera flash illuminates field as JV football players walk back toward GHS following game on field 7 against Ridgefield. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera flash illuminates field as JV football players walk back toward GHS following game on field 7 against Ridgefield. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

Camera flash illuminates field as JV football players walk back toward GHS following game on field 7 against Ridgefield. Nov 6, 2017 Photo: Leslie Yager

See also:

Greenwich Mother of 5: Late Dismissal Causes More Pressure, Less Sleep and More Stressed Students

With No End in Sight for GHS Fields Shortage and Lighting Restrictions, GCDS Enjoys “Friday Night Lights”

Neighbors Slam BOE Proposal for Temporary Lighting on CMS Field; P&Z Says Come Back with More Details

Greenwich Schools Start Times Update: 3 Buses Added, Ridership Up. No Deal at SUNY Purchase; Delay on Lights at CMS 

Greenwich Board of Ed Votes 5-3 in Favor of Implementing School Start Change for Fall 2017

GHS Cardinal Stadium Lighting Upgrades and Deed Restrictions Leave Greenwich Hamstrung. Again.  


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