The installation of fiber optic cables at H.A. Lynn Stadium and the adjacent softball complex was approved by the Newton Community School District Board of Education on Monday, June 14 and is expected to increase internet access while also allowing the Cardinal TV club to more easily broadcast home games.
Three bids were collected by the school district. Van Maanen Electric provided the winning low bid of $28,600.
Tim Bloom, director of business services at the Newton school district, described the project as a “collaborative effort” between the technology and maintenance departments. Technology manager Noah Short explained that fiber installations will connect to a number of areas around the two sports facilities.
The press box will be connected to fiber, along with a new scoreboard system located in the south end zone of H.A. Lynn Stadium. Short said the scoreboard requires a fiber connection to operate. Also included in the project is a fiber line to the softball field with eight port switches.
“We’re able to connect to internet, we’re able to do camera systems down there, we’re able to do credit card systems,” Short said. “A big thing that we hear is people not being able to pay credit at concessions. So being able to do internet down there allows us that opportunity to be able to do that stuff as well.”
Currently, there is a point-to-point system in a few select areas at the stadium, which Short said “can only do so much” and provide very little data. The school district is not getting rid of this system, but Short said the technology department will repurpose the system in addition to a few other areas.
“We get a lot of fans that come to football games that complain about the internet access, being able to check other scores,” Short said. “I talked to a lot of coaches (and) they want to be able to see other scores from other games as well.”
A lot of people attend games at both sports facilities, which Short said greatly decreases any available internet access. Short, who is a sponsor of Cardinal TV, a local club that regularly streams sports games on the internet, said the fiber will better students’ ability to broadcast those games.
The project will be financed with Secure an Advanced Vision for Education(SAVE) funds and will likely be installed in two phases.
According to school district documents, the stadium installation will be completed before June 30 and will be included in FY21. The softball complex portion will be completed at the end of season, which will be in FY22. The fiber install was included in the capital improvement plan as part of the scoreboard project.
“Overall, it shouldn’t disrupt any activities that are going on in the summer,” Short said. “… This project is slated to start right as softball ends and hopefully get it finished right before football summer camp starts. So not interrupting anything going on out at the fields.”
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org