After pulling the plug on the stadium lights at a local high school, a judge now says the lights can go back on. The decision comes after a year-and-a-half long legal battle between upset residents in Talmadge and Hoover High School. But as NBC 7’s Artie Ojeda explains, the fight may not be over.
After pulling the plug on the stadium lights at a San Diego high school, a judge now says the lights can go back on.
The decision comes after a year and a half long legal battle between upset residents in Talmadge and Hoover High School.
This week, the school passed two legal hurdles to get the lights turned back on.
But the judge’s ruling impacts more than just Friday night football games and that's a major concern for some residents.
Hoover High School has one of the nicer high school stadium facilities in San Diego thanks to a major renovation several years ago.
The lights were turned on for night football games in 2012.
That lasted all of one season and three games before a local group pulled the plug last September.
“It was disappointing because we had done a lot of things on our end in terms of trying to limit any impact it had on the neighborhood,” said Hoover High Athletic Director Ron Lardizabal.
The group Taxpayers for Accountable School Bond Spending argued in part that the money to build the lights came from Prop S.
They argued the 2008 voter-approved bond money was supposed to be used to upgrade classrooms and school infrastructure, not to build stadium lights
This week, a judge decided the lights could go back on as long as the school stopped using Prop S money for the lights.
“Being able to hold events at night, whether it's football or whether it's soccer, it gives our parents an opportunity to come out and support the kids,” Lardizabal said.
For Talmadge residents like Brian MacLaggan, the concern is what could come next.
“We believe they're not going to use it just for school functions, so there'll be people using the football facility at all hours of the night until 11 or 12 at night creating issues for our neighborhood,” MacLaggan said.
But other residents don't mind the occasional bright lights.
“A part of a community is to support the kids and let them have some late games and also, that’s what my granddaughter looks forward to is being able to go to a night game,” said resident Carol Parks.
The lights could go back on at the end of this month, if Hoover High ends up hosting a soccer playoff
Meanwhile, attorneys for the resident group will be back in court next month to demand that the San Diego Unified School District to pay back the Prop S money used to put the lights up in the first place.