The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Shortage of fields, lights back in question



While many fields unavailable, teams struggle with scheduling 




The dispute over the installation of football field lights, still under evaluation by the Fremont Union High School District, has raised issues regarding this season’s football schedule. While the data from the district’s recent Environmental Impact Report are still pending and construction is underway at Fremont, Cupertino, and Homestead High Schools, the schools’ football teams are facing a possible shortage of fields for games. The orginal Nov. 12 game, MVHS’s Senior Night, is currently the biggest game in question. 

“On this one weekend we [have] too many teams playing on the same day, so we said, ‘Let’s get creative—what else can we do?’” Dean of Students Michael Hicks said.

The first idea, which was brainstormed early in the summer, involved borrowing temporary lights from Lynbrook High School and having the Senior Game on the MVHS field Friday night. However, the night game would then interfere with a long-standing Friday-evening Chinese school, creating a parking and accommodation issue in the area. Plans for having the senior game in the afternoon were also quickly shot down, since the game would have to start before school ended in order to finish before nightfall, at around 5:00 p.m. 

The current plan, though not definite, is to host the game on Saturday evening at CHS.

According to Principal April Scott, the tentative idea of temporary lights was simply a makeshift solution to the lack of playing fields and the decision was made regardless of possible opposition to permanent lights.

“Some could say [in regards to the temporary lights], ‘These are so noisy, this is exactly why we need permanent lights,’ and someone else could say ‘See? You’re able to have a night game without permanent lights, so why do you need them?’” Scott said.


On Oct. 6, students in favor of football light construction attended an informational meeting to raise awareness on how to get involved. Photo by Sara Yang.

On Oct. 4, Superintendent Polly Bove made a presentation in the MVHS auditorium regarding the fiscal state of the school, as well as the future of its bond money, including the funds that had been allocated to track and field restoration.

As Bove explained, the FUHSD put out a draft Environmental Impact Report with professional studies on the amount of noise, light overflow, and traffic caused by field lighting. The report outlined that regular use of the lights—until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and during six home football games—would cause a significant environment impact. A suggested alternative involved limited light use, which would allow football practice two days a week until 6 p.m. and band practice two days a week until 8 p.m., with lights off at 8:30.

At the moment, the FUHSD is in the process of answering the 16 concerns and questions from the community, which will be incorporated into a finalized Environmental Impact Report, available in late-October or mid-November. The Board of Trustees will review the final report as well as community input in order to make a final decision.

Bove clarified that while the Environment Impact Report addresses many of the concerns of surrounding neighbors, the study was not conducted to respond to those opposed to having lights.

For those who did not respond to the Environmental Impact Report, Bove encourages them to speak at board meetings or to send the district emails or letters.

Many are already doing so. Kenneth Orvick, parent of two MVHS alumni and head of the Athletic Booster Group, circulated a petition in favor of the field lights at MVHS and within two hours received 139 signatures. Likewise, community members have created the “LMU”—Lynbrook Monta Vista United petition to oppose construction of the lights along with FUHSD for Lights, which is in favor.

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