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TEA Correspondence

A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.

Stadium light poles advisory update—service basket and clamping brackets concern

May 22, 2009

Subject: Stadium light poles advisory update—service basket and clamping brackets concern

To the Administrator Addressed:

In our advisory letter of April 29, 2009, in response to several recent incidents of school stadium light poles collapsing in Texas and other states, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) encouraged your district to have its stadium light poles inspected by licensed structural engineers as soon as possible to determine if the poles are structurally sound. Our letter also encouraged your district to develop policy so that follow-up pole inspections are conducted on an annual basis.

Another concern has recently been brought to our attention, and we believe it is important to pass along information about it. During the initial inspection of its light poles, Frisco Independent School District did not identify any deficient poles; however, a later inspection of the aerial service baskets and clamping brackets identified several instances of cracks and corrosion in the brackets. At least one bracket appeared to have failed. These photos are representative of the problem:

concrete     light pole

second image light pole

We are not sure if this is an isolated problem or if other districts may have similar issues. When you have your light poles inspected, we encourage you to include an inspection of the lighting units, service baskets, and clamping brackets. To help us determine if Frisco ISD's problems are an isolated incident or if there is a more widespread problem, please notify us if you discover similar problems during your inspections.

After the April 29 advisory letter was posted, several districts inquired whether TEA could recommend a structural engineer. We do not maintain a list of engineers, and it would not be appropriate for the TEA to endorse one professional over another. However, a list of all registered structural engineers in Texas can be obtained by visiting the website of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers at the following link (search under the branches "structural" and "structural 2"): http://www.tbpe.state.tx.us/search.php.

If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone at (512) 463-9190 or by email at Gary.Marek@tea.state.tx.us.




Gary B. Marek
Director of School Facilities
State Funding Division


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