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Let there be light
TID awards grant to fund stadium lights at Pitman High
Pitman High field
Stadium lights will soon be an addition to the Pitman High field, thanks to a grant from the Turlock Irrigation District. The lighting will allow Pitman High football, soccer and cross country athletes to practice and have games after nightfall (Journal file photo).

The turf football and soccer field and the all-weather track on the grounds of Pitman High School will soon be lit up during the night as funding for stadium lights has been secured thanks to the Turlock Irrigation District.

During Tuesday night’s Turlock Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting, the board voted unanimously to accept TID’s Powering Our Communities grant worth $56,300. The money will offset the funds needed to purchase and install stadium lights at the Pitman campus.

“TID is super excited to be able to offer this $56,000 grant to the Turlock Unified School District for the Pitman Field Lights Project,” said Monique Hampton, energy services manager at TID.

Powering Our Communities was established in 2021 and is made available to organizations in the TID service area to provide financial support for energy efficiency projects benefiting the community. TID calls upon municipal partners, county partners and school districts to identify projects that meet the criteria of benefiting the underserved, safety benefits and recreational opportunities.

Once the lights are up, student athletes at Pitman High will have more time to practice and compete at their campus facilities. Pitman High hosts home soccer games, freshman football games and cross country meets at the facility, but many of the activities must wrap up before nightfall due to darkness and other safety reasons. The lighting will also help TUSD and community donors turn their attention to other major developmental projects on the campus, such as a scoreboard and bleachers.

“We are so appreciative of TID and their generosity to Pitman High School,” said athletic director Dustin Curtiss. “The lights are the next big step in getting a stadium at PHS and we can’t thank them enough for helping us in turning our dream into a reality.”

At the track and field, there is already a barbecue pit and table areas from money raised by the Pitman Development Foundation. Additionally, this weekend’s Alumni Fest will raise funds for a snack bar, leaving the scoreboard and bleachers to be the final pieces of the puzzle that will allow bigger events like varsity football games and track meets to be hosted at the campus.

Upon signing the contract with TID, the Turlock Unified School District agrees to notify the organization if there are any changes to the project. In addition, TID requests a report on the expenditure of the grant after six months from project completion.