Buckhannon-Upshur High School athletic director Randall Roy said he was pleasantly surprised Tuesday when he got more than he was asking for from the Upshur County Board of Education.
Roy thought fundraising efforts would be needed to purchase a football scoreboard which featured a large video screen for advertising or replays. But the school board approved of the idea, along with giving its support to a new scoreboard for the school's soccer field.
Roy had asked the school board to approve a funding request of $65,000 for new soccer and football scoreboards. He said at a previous meeting that the Buckhannon-Upshur football boosters could reimburse the school board with money raised through advertising on the new scoreboards. Roy also said the boosters would try to raise the $60,000 difference for the upgrade to the football field's scoreboard.
"I don't know why some of this money for the scoreboard doesn't come from the Board (of Education)," board member Tammy Samples said. "I understand raising money. I feel like we need to have some kind of good faith effort, too. I want us to be fiscally responsible, but I also feel like the board needs to tip some money into that. I want us to be doing our part."
Instead of only supporting Roy's initial request, board members voted to offer the $125,000 needed to get both of the desired scoreboards. The approved funds do not include the installation, foundation, electrical or other costs that may be associated with preparing the scoreboards for use. The wireless equipment needed to run the football scoreboard screen, however, is included in the funding.
Board member Patrick Long said he wants to know what else the school board should be doing to prepare for the installation of the new scoreboards. Roy said he would check into the other costs. No board member argued that the existing scoreboards did not need to be replaced.
"I think it is a grand idea," board president Teresa Bellamy said. "We need new scoreboards. I don't think anyone will tell you otherwise."
Roy said the current scoreboards still use bulbs to light the numbers. He said that some of the sockets for those bulbs no longer work, rendering many bulbs irreplaceable. He was not the only one to point out issues with the scoreboards.
"This board is a maintenance issue," Todd Payne, the president of the Buckhannon-Upshur football boosters, said. "I feel that by the end of the season we would be up there with index cards."
Roy said that he is confident in the potential of community support for the project. He said he already has received $27,000 in pledges from businesses that want to purchase advertisements on the scoreboard panels.
In other business, the school board conducted the second reading of the salary schedules and other compensation policy. Superintendent Roy Wager said it will be available online for public comment.
The school board conducted first readings for three other policies, "Communication with the Board of Education," "School Board Effectiveness" and "Special Education." Wager said those policies are minor updates from last year, and they will also be available online for public comment.
To view the policies when they are published online, visit www.upshurcountyschools.com.