Newman Smith softball

Allie Harrelson, shown from a past season, delivers a pitch for the Newman Smith softball team.

Newman Smith High School will soon have its own softball field.

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD plans to construct a softball field in the 2000 block of Kelly Boulevard, and it will be located just northwest of the existing high school baseball field.

The Carrollton City Council last week approved a specific use permit (SUP) for the athletic complex update, which was required since it will include installation of lights at the softball field.

After the meeting, Malcolm Mulrone, chief operations officer for Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, said the softball field is part of a larger project to focus on improvements at each campus. Currently the softball team plays behind the school’s football field. He said the field should be complete by December.

Councilman Adam Polter asked if the lighted field would create light pollution in the area.

“Lights nowadays are LED, which are much better about being bright where they’re bright and not bright where they’re not aimed,” said Jeff Bresee with CEI Engineering. “So you get very little spillage. That spillage can travel 10 or 20 feet. It doesn’t go very far. But we’re a long ways away from even where the light from the baseball field is coming from.”

The SUP was granted on several conditions, including that the lights for the softball field will be limited to 72 feet in height lighting for the new parking lot will be limited to 26 feet in height. Lighting for the existing baseball field and parking lot will be limited to 90 and 32 feet, respectively.

The lighting will also comply with the city’s comprehensive zoning ordinance.

The project also includes replacing the natural grass on the baseball field with synthetic turf.

“This will maximize the time the team can play,” Mulrone said. “With the turf they can play 15 minutes after it stops raining.”

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