“When we first started talking about the project —in October of last year— (the businesses) were there with us and offering any technical support and volunteering the installation of the lights right from the start,” says David Thorpe, member of the Friday Night Lights Committee.
The Friday Night Lights Committee is managing the effort to raise money to establish field lights for nighttime use at Prime Ministers’ Park. Other members of the committee include Randy Emmerson, Mich Holash and Gord Broda.
Workers from five different contractors, which usually compete against one another in the city, co-operated in order to assemble the lights; these contractors included Bill’s Electric City Ltd., Asiil Enterprises Ltd., Lite-Way Electric, Saunders Electric Ltd. and SOS Electrical Ltd. Eecol Electric was the sole supplier for the project.
According to Thorpe, the five contractors and supplier donated the labour for the installation of the lights.
“Our committee got a lot of confidence that we would be able to get this done with these contractors on board … They are donating all of the labour for the installation and it’s going to be a significant amount of money; $40,000 to $50,000 for those contractors and the one supplier,” he said.
Thorpe said the committee was required to purchase all of the equipment before the money was raised for the Friday Night Lights campaign in order to have the lights ready for September. It takes about three to four months to wait for the material.
“If we had waited until the fundraising was done, we would just be ordering the material and we wouldn’t have the lights for this fall … and then of course you can’t really do this instillation in the winter,” he said.
There are six lights designed to brighten the entire field. Some of these lights will light the walking track and others will be used for football and soccer games as well as events like Relay for Life.
Thorpe said that some wiring will be completed once the contractors were finished assembling the lights.
“Some wiring is done, the trenching is done, and there are final connections to be made. It’s more like finishing the job than starting it,” he said.
Once the lights are completed, there are plans to hold a grand opening event in September along with a few featured games. In the fall, there will also be a football game between Carlton Comprehensive High School and St. Mary High School, which will make use of the new lights.
Thorpe said the committee would also like to thank Greg Zeeben of Community Services and Mike Hurd, the superintendent of the facilities for the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division. Zeeben worked with the city council and Hurd worked with the board of education in order for the project to be approved.
Thorpe also thanked the contractors and supplier for their efforts.
“I just think it shows — we saw it with the fundraising of our event and many other events in Prince Albert — there’s a great community spirit here,” he said. “People will not only talk about it but they will open their wallets and donate. Business owners and construction owners, these people will donate their men’s wages to get something done. It shows a lot of confidence in our community and the continued community support in Prince Albert is terrific.”