LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Basketball players will be able to play late into the night after officials approved a measure to install lights at Summerfield Community Park's basketball court.
The lights will serve two purposes: extend playing time and help to keep youngsters out of trouble.
"It will be one more thing that our young adults can do in the community," said June Stroup, Community Development District 1 chairwoman. "You get that age group (14-16) that isn't old enough to drive and go to work, and they have nothing to do, and that's when they get into mischief."
The maintenance staff at the park heard several requests for lighting from residents, said Ryan Heise, director of operations at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall. The tennis court already had lights, but after sunset the basketball court wasn't functional.
The board wanted to install lights in February but waited until now -- late in the fiscal year -- to make sure money wouldn't be needed for emergency repairs, Stroup said.
The LED lights will cost a little less than $18,000 and will come from District 1's operating budget, Heise said. The lights are expected to be installed by Oct. 1.
Synergy Lighting will do the main installation, F M Dependable Electric will install the new electric service needed for the lights and the maintenance team will maintain the lights.
The lights will operated by a push-button control, meaning players can turn them on manually. They will automatically turn off at 10 p.m. when the park closes.