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Superintendent: Private donations now to pay for new Spring Hill scoreboard

By Meredith Shamburger
April 20, 2017 at 2:50 p.m.
Updated April 20, 2017 at 5:12 p.m.

Spring Hill ISD board members look at designs for a proposed digital scoreboard during their Monday April 17, 2017, meeting. (Les Hassell/News-Journal Photo)

A new digital scoreboard at Spring Hill’s Panther Stadium costing almost a half-million dollars is set to be paid for with private donations instead of bond funds, Superintendent Steven Snell said Thursday.

Spring Hill ISD school board members approved the purchase of the scoreboard at a cost of $490,526 at their Monday night meeting, with the intention of paying for it with money saved by refinancing bonds.

“SHISD is very excited to have the opportunity to bring a new scoreboard to Panther Stadium to enhance the overall game day experience and be able to market and promote all of the great accomplishments of our students and staff,” Snell said in a statement Thursday.

The announcement that the board had voted in favor of purchasing the new scoreboard was met with considerable criticism on social media.

Snell declined to release the names of donors for the scoreboard, saying the district has set a news conference next week and will release more information at that time.

He said the funds that would have been used for the scoreboard now will be used to address other items on the district’s list of needs but would not provide details of those items. He said discussions on how best to use that money will take place at future board meetings.

Snell said the private donations will fund the new scoreboard in full. The district also anticipates generating additional revenue for classroom technology, fine arts and athletics through advertising on the scoreboard.

Board members voted 6-1 Monday to work with Nevco Scoreboards on an approximately 20-by-32-foot digital scoreboard that would be erected near the stadium’s ticket booth. The back of the scoreboard would include a 7-by-10 foot digital marquee to broadcast announcements and district highlights.

Snell and other school officials cited the potential to increase ad revenue four or five times as much as the district makes from the current scoreboard.

Switching to a digital videoboard and marquee, they said, also would allow the district to highlight student accomplishments and provide a better game experience.

Trustee Karen Wright was the only school board member to vote against the new scoreboard Monday, saying it was a “want,” not a “need.”

Wright did not immediately respond Thursday to a request for comment.

“We’ve got to go back and review what we promised our taxpayers before we take on something that has not really even been out there,” Wright said Monday. “A lot of people don’t even know that this is happening.”Trustee Ben Shelton said Thursday that he is thankful for the community support. School officials said Thursday they were thankful for community support.

“I’m thrilled to see such support of our wonderful community, and I look forward to the additional financial opportunities this will create for our district,” Shelton said.

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