The race is on to have new Friday Night Lights in place before Pickering High’s first home football game of the upcoming season.

The race is on to have new Friday Night Lights in place before Pickering High’s first home football game of the upcoming season.

The Vernon Parish School Board approved the low bid for the new poles and light standards at its meeting Tuesday morning.

Now, JLG Electric Co. will try to make kickoff. The Kaplan company bid $228,270. The bid specs called for a 60-day time frame, according to finance director Tim Ward, but all bidders were aware to the urgency of beating that deadline.

Pickering’s first home game is Sept. 16, when it is scheduled to host Merryville in a 7 p.m. contest.

Officials have discussed alternatives such as a Saturday afternoon contest if the lights installation is not complete, but such options are a last resort. The intention is to have the new lights in and working.

The money for the upgrade is coming from a $2 million bond issue approved by Pickering School District voters in the spring of this year.

Already this summer, the school board has awarded contracts for installation of new air conditioners and lockers in the high school and elementary school.

Also on the drawing boards is replacement of the artificial track at the stadium.

Pickering High also has a new principal. The board on Tuesday approved the non-promotional contract of Dana Donaldson to succeed Hub Jordan in the slot. She has been assistant principal. Jordan moved into a non-promotional post at the Central Office.

Non-promotional means that neither position is considered a permanent post. Both could return to their positions next year. If not, then the board will have to advertise for the principal post again.

The board approved advertising for a non-promotional administrative assistant at the high school.

Superintendent James Williams said that is being done rather than seek a non-promotional assistant principal, and that if the principal post turns out to be a permanent change, then the board will seek an assistant principal.

A permanent personnel move Tuesday was approval of Tamela Phillips as new principal at Leesville High. She has been an assistant principal there.

The board voted to advertise for a permanent principal at West Leesville Elementary. Edwin Koenck left that post to move to North Polk.