Stierberger Stadium will be getting new lights. 

For the first time in about a decade, the lights at the Union High School athletic field will be replaced.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Mike Mabe said three or four bulbs at the stadium needed to be replaced. He said the district looked into switching to LED bulbs, but found that to be cost-prohibitive. 

Mabe said estimates for the LED transition were pegged at $174,000. In comparison, to simply replace all 44 bulbs it would cost just $4,340.

Mabe said once it was decided to just replace the bulbs, the district began looking at replacing other parts of the lights. He said for $15,213, the district could get all new bulbs, new ballasts and really replace the nuts and bolts of the lights. 

Guarantee Electrical, St. Louis, will handle the work. The board approved the deal at the Jan. 30 board meeting.

The original lights were installed in 1989 and were changed once. Mabe said once the replacement is done, it should be feasible to get another 10 years out of the lights. 

The goal is to have work start this month and be wrapped up before the start of the spring sports season. Mabe said any time line is hard to nail down because the work can be impacted by the weather. 

Furniture Vendor

At the same meeting, the board also backed using School Specialty as its furniture vendor for the Prop Wildcats projects.

Mabe said with the project’s moving along, it was time to start thinking about chairs and desks and other furniture. 

The district opted against doing a request for proposal (RFP) and instead is choosing to work directly with a vendor. Mabe said an RFP would be very complicated because companies would have to submit bids for identical products. 

For example, he said if the district wanted prices for chairs, an RFP would need a specific model of chair. By using a vendor, there are more options, he said. 

Mabe said he studied a number of vendors in the district’s co-op purchasing group. He looked at costs and the actual product being sold.

School Specialty was the lowest cost, Mabe said. He said School Specialty’s “best” product was often cheaper than other companies “good” product. 

Mabe said the cheap price really wasn’t a matter of quality. He said he compared a brand of chair against what other companies were charging for the same thing. He said each time School Specialty offered a lower cost for the same item.

Mabe recommended working with School Specialty. The board agreed and backed his recommendation.