HAYWARD -- The lights will be on at Sunset Field in time for the next high school football game, but last week's attempted theft of wiring is costing the district thousands of dollars to repair.
"We think the thieves were interrupted," said Billy Martin, director of maintenance, operations and transportation for the Hayward Unified School District. "We found a big wad of wiring nearby. But unfortunately, we can't reuse it."
The attempted theft comes on top of security lighting wiring being stolen from Burbank Elementary School a week earlier, he said.
The damage at Sunset will cost about $3,000 to repair, said Assistant Superintendent Stanley Dobbs.
"We will be able to do the labor in-house," he said, estimating that it would have cost the district an additional $4,000 to $5,000 if the work had to be contracted out. The work should be finished by the end of the week.
It cost $5,000 to repair the lights at Burbank, Martin said. "We're working on measures to secure and fortify our wiring," he said.
Sunset Field, located at the now-closed Sunset High School, is the only football field in the district with lights. It is used for night home games for Hayward, Mount Eden and Tennyson high schools, Dobbs said.
Last Friday's football game was played in the afternoon at Hayward High. "The boosters weren't able to have a full snack bar," Martin said, and could only sell drinks and snacks.
Hayward High athletic boosters normally earn about $1,200 to $1,500 at a football snack bar, according to booster Debra Boos. Last Friday, they made only about $25 after expenses. "Basically, it wasn't really worth it," she said.
The loss could mean that the boosters will not be able to fund one of the junior varsity teams next year, Boos said. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to Hayward High School, 1633 East Ave., Hayward 94541.
"If anyone wants to make a donation, we sure could use it," Boos said.
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.