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Glen Ellyn voters support lights at Memorial Field

With a majority of voters turning out in favor of installing stadium lights at Memorial Field, Glen Ellyn resident John Brodner said the next big step is to finish raising the money.

Voters in Glen Ellyn Tuesday showed their support for installing two 60-foot and four 70-foot light towers at Glenbard West High School’s Memorial Field.

With all 38 precincts reporting, about 54 percent showed support for the lights while about 46 percent voted against, according to unofficial vote totals.

The advisory referendum on Tuesday’s ballot asked voters if Glenbard Township High School District 87 should be permitted to install and operate permanent stadium field lights at Memorial Field. While it would not have had a legal impact, the vote had the potential to sway official opinion on the project that has attracted vocal opposition.

“This is great; the community has spoken,” Brodner said following Tuesday’s election results. “There’s nothing else to be done except raise the money.”

A group of residents against the project, dubbed Our Field Our Town, gathered hundreds of signatures to get the question on the ballot. The group opposes the lights because of safety concerns and the disruption of the neighborhood’s aesthetics.

“We didn’t have a marketing campaign, while the other group sent out hundreds of emails,” lights opponent Don Pydo said Tuesday night. “A lot of it was the marketing campaign and the school program.”

Brodner said the group in support of the lights has been raising the money for more than a month and saw an especially great fundraising spurt come through last week.

The school is expected to pay for the projected cost of $350,000 for the project through private donations.

As of Friday, the fundraising group for Glenbard West High School’s Memorial Field lights project has raised $200,000, according to a release.

The school district has already received approval from the village of Glen Ellyn to install the lights. The school board will have the final say on the lights, and a final vote is expected in April.

District officials have said they hope to have the six light poles installed by the fall so they’re ready for the 2012-13 school year and athletic events.

•Tribune reporter Michelle Manchir contributed.

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