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School board approves $10K for scoreboard, auditorium lights

Nearly a decade after the $25 million Two Harbors High School was completed, nagging building issues are still surfacing.

In recent months, the board for Lake Superior School District has approved expenses to cover two updates that some say should have been completed with the original construction. At its regular December meeting, the board approved dollars to pay for a scoreboard for the baseball field and the rewiring of auditorium lights. A promised scoreboard was never delivered to the baseball field, and the auditorium lights, while functioning, were not wired properly.

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“We’ve got one of the nicest fields in the area … it’s just missing a scoreboard,” junior Tim Bott said at the meeting. As a catcher, he said spectators often ask him what the score is during the game.

When the new field on the high school campus was unveiled, the missing scoreboard was the least of the team’s problems. Nagging turf issues rendered the field unusable for years. Eventually, the team took matters into its own hands and the players started spending practice hours working on field improvements while custodians addressed the watering system.

Eight years after the school was built, the baseball players finally left their old field next to Lakeview Hospital and moved to the greener pastures of the new diamond. Coaches say it’s wired for a scoreboard, but the lines have never been connected.

Superintendent Bill Crandall said the scoreboard was never delivered, so the school didn’t pay for it.

The school board approved $7,000 to pay for a new scoreboard. Coach Tom Bott, senior Kyle Omtvedt and Tim Bott told the board that the baseball team plans to raise funds to cover at least half of that expense.

“We’re trying to do our part as well,” coach Bott said.

To justify a sports-related expense while the district is in deficit spending, board member Leo Babeu said it was something the district had already promised the baseball team.

“It’s an amenity that was our job to deliver,” Babeu said.

At the end of the same meeting, the board approved $3,000 to untangle wiring problems in the auditorium, fixing glitches identified by a consultant from the University of Minnesota- Duluth. Superintendent Bill Crandall said the most significant issue is that the switches don’t match the lights they are supposed to control.

“When it was signed off on, all the lights worked. They still do, they just don’t work in the most efficient way possible … we’re getting that fixed,” Crandall said.

The lighting issues became more pressing after the Lake Superior Community Theatre booked the auditorium for its annual performance. “Fiddler on the Roof” will run the first two weekends on April, and director Paul Deaner said properly functioning lights are vital to the show.

The baseball team ordered its new scoreboard this week and the lights have already been repaired.

LaReesa Sandretsky
LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native who began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
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