Newly renovated stadium closed over light pole danger fears

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on August 20, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 20 at 6:27 PM

LEWISVILLE - One North Texas field will be eerily silent for the start of this year's football season.

The light poles surrounding the newly renovated stadium at The Colony High School could be dangerous, and is closed indefinitely. 

The light towers at the Lewisville Independent School District campus are the problem. While there weren't part of a recent recall, they were made by the Whitco Company, which is the same business that made a number of light poles that collapse.

After an inspection, engineers felt the poles still might be too top heavy to withstand high winds of 90 mph. The Colony Cougars practiced Friday for their home opener that is one week away. It's a game that will now be played somewhere else.

 Even surrounding parking lots at the stadium have been blocked off as a precaution since the poles tower at 70 feet.

"They have play restrictions on the field and we can't park in certain areas," said Victoria Elizondo, a student.

"It was something that they wanted to make sure was fixed before we did anything on the field, and I support that 100 percent," said Rudy Rangel, the coach.

Players seem to be taking it in stride, even if they can't play in front of the home crowd.

"I could care less where we play at; I just want one game at that home stadium before the year's over," said DJ Willis, a football player.

Friday's practice took place at Hebron High School. The school's soccer teams and drill teams are also impacted.

"It's pretty hard getting through the day practicing where we can," Elizondo said.

But, the district is playing it safe, even if it means not playing at home.

Crews will start their work next week and are expected to finish the work before the football team's second game of the season, but the district said they do not want to put out a time limit.

E-mail: ccivale@wfaa.com

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