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Papillion-Lavista School

Papillion-Lavista school wins first state basketball championship after installing new lighting

Dark sports on the gymnasium floor were creating visibility problems for Papillion-LaVista High School, located in Papillion, Nebraska, near Omaha. Playing host to a large school following, the gym is used not only by the school's winning basketball team but for physical education classes, volleyball and badminton. The gym has a stage area at one end, and is used by community groups.

Previously, the facility was lighted with 400 watt mercury vapor fixtures. The result was uneven illumination with shadows.

When school officials retrofit the lighting, they chose Holophane Prismalume® prismatic glass luminaires with the E31 reflector and wire guard. The selection was based on prior success at another area school, which Papillion-LaVista representatives visited.

Since the new lighting system has been installed, the Papillion-LaVista "Monarchs" basketball team went on to win the Class A State Championship for 1992-93. This was the team's first state championship.

"We saw a great difference between the illumination provided by the Holophane lighting system and the fixtures we had in our gym. The prismatic lighting was much more uniform and widespread," said Arthur McEnearney, director of buildings and grounds, Papillion-LaVista School District .

Papillion-LaVista installed 36 Prismalume fixtures at the sites where the previous luminaires were located. Mounting height is 21 feet, with spacing at 18 feet. The gym has a 25-foot open metal deck ceiling, and white painted concrete block walls. The lamps used are 400 watt super high output metal halide which delivers 40,000 lumens.

McEnearney said that although energy is always a consideration for any project within the district, it was not a primary factor for this installation.

"We were more concerned with the quality of the lighting, although the Holophane fixtures are more energy efficient than those offered by a competitive company also bidding on the job," he added.

Footcandle levels are 70 maintained, compared to the 40 to 50 footcandles measured with the previous lighting system.
"The Holophane fixtures illuminate all corners of the facility, even behind the bleachers. Our custodial staff does a better job of cleaning because they can see the dirt. It's like having sunlight inside the gym," McEnearney said.

During the school year, the Prismalume fixtures are lighted five days a week, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. The gymnasium is used on Saturdays and Sundays by both school and community groups. The lighting system is controlled by a key switch.
"The building never closes because we have so many people that utilize our facilities," McEnearney said.

A benefit of the new lighting system is longer lamp life, which means maintenance personnel no longer must deal with burnt out lamps on a regular basis. The Holophane fixtures will be group relamped and cleaned.

"The staff, and particularly the coaches, have been quite impressed with the Holophane lighting system," McEnearney concluded. "They have commented that the fans are able to see the players much better and follow the game more closely than before. This is important because we really pack the facility during our basketball games."

"There is no question that the lighting has improved the quality of our basketball and physical education programs," said John Watters, Papillion-LaVista athletic director. "The visibility is better for the athletes and fans."


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