KIUC pole-planting helps Kapa‘a’s football dream

KAPA‘A — In order for flowers to bloom, seeds need to be planted.

Crews from the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative were planting yesterday. Not seeds, but four wooden utility poles from which nets will bloom.

The effort was part of KIUC’s contribution to support Kaua‘i Mayor Bryan Baptiste and the Kapa‘a community’s dream to host a home football game, said Shelley Paik, of the KIUC community relations office.

“They are great,” said Mel Nishihara of the county’s Recreation Agency. “They dug the holes, planted the poles and are putting in the hardware to hold the nets. They even brought an extra pole, just in case. And this is all donation!”

Nishihara was overseeing the work being done at the New Kapa‘a Ball Park in the area where community volunteers and county workers have been laboring towards getting the field ready in time for a pre-season football game in August.

“The KIUC crews are donating their time, and they also donated the four poles that will be used to hold the net behind the goalposts,” Nishihara said.

As the four poles were planted, workers set out to install the necessary hardware that will anchor the nets that will bloom from the poles — one on each end of the field.

The nets are necessary because of the field’s proximity to the access road to the Kapa‘a by pass roundabout. It will keep errant balls from bouncing off passing cars during the game.

Some of the crews were coming off the recent brush fire in Wailua that, at one point, threatened the Lydgate substation. The task yesterday was a lot more pleasant as they manned the giant auger that made short work of digging the holes where the poles would be anchored.

“If we didn’t have these trucks, it would take a whole day to plant just one pole,” one of the crewmen said. “Now, we have four of them planted and it’s not even lunch.”

In addition to the auger and hoist that formed the basis of the line truck, KIUC crew members used the truck as a source of power for their tools used to install the necessary hardware.

Nishihara said the poles to hold the field goal nets are just one more step that brings the field closer to hosting a football game.

But there are many more things that need to be done, he said, noting that a scoreboard similar in size to the Hanapepe Stadium’s will be installed in the near future.

As he spoke, another volunteer crew worked to trench one of three concrete slabs that will anchor the bleachers.

Earlier, Kapa‘a High School celebrated its first graduation in the new facility, another step that brings the realization of a football game closer.

During that event, county officials who were on hand estimated there were about 2,000 people including graduates, their six guests-per-graduate, and volunteers inside the gates when the oli sounded. Additionally, a crowd of unticketed guests waited patiently outside the fence.

Nishihara said there are locker rooms that need to be built, a pressbox which he feels will probably not be ready by the time the football kicks off, and meetings to discuss the various parking and exit traffic schemes for the facility.

“It’s a work in progress,” he said. “As each game is played, more and more things will be in place.”

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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