By Mason W. Canales

The Cove Herald

Lea Ledger will receive a new lighting system this fall, which will help the Copperas Cove Independent School District facility shine for years to come.

"I don't think you will find any person that doesn't think (Lea Ledger) is an important facility," said Richard Kirkpatrick, the district's deputy superintendent and former high school principal. "It is really a show piece, and a it is a great facility for the district and the community."

Kirkpatrick said there are events at the building at least two to three times a night per week, and it is used daily by the high school's classes, student groups, elementary schools and other district and community organizations.

The current lighting system is old, which is why the district is spending $93,000 to install new equipment.

"It is the original stuff," said Kirkpatrick. "It just worn out it is not working properly, and we had a lot of problems in the last couple of years."

The lights will sometimes flicker and portions of it often break down, he said. Since the equipment has been in the facility for at least 10 years, making repairs has gotten hard.

"Just like anything else, technology is going to become outdated rapidly, and for a system that is over 10 years old, it is going to be hard to maintain it," Kirkpatrick added.

Because of those maintenance problems, school board trustees approved on July 10 the installation and purchase of the new equipment. The work by Houston-based StageLight Inc. will include new dimmer racks, a sound system and a console.

Kirkpatrick said it may be September before the lighting features are installed.

"The company said it would take them about four to six weeks to get all the components," he said.

Once here, installing the new equipment shouldn't take more than two or three days. "We are going to try and do it so there is a little inconvenience to the staff and the students," Kirkpatrick said.

One big event that was planned at the auditorium — the district's convocation — will continue as planned, said Kirkpatrick. The event will bring all the teachers of the district to have sort of a "prep-a-rally" for the start of the school year.

Once the upgrades are completed, the new lighting system will improve use of the auditorium. Lea Ledger is home the Central Texas Musical Festival, numerous junior high school and high school concerts, annual dance shows and more.

"I think we have one of the finest facilities around," Kirkpatrick said. "It is beautiful building, it is well maintained, and we just need to keep it up to date."

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHCoveEditor.

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