October 21, 2014


Elyria school district earmarks $75,000 for upsized scoreboard

Stacie Starr cheers after finding out Ely Stadium will be getting a new stadium score board. Starr is shown with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan during the production of “Live! with Kelly and Michael” in New York. DAVID RUSSELL/DISNEY-ABC DOMESTIC TELEVISION

Stacie Starr cheers after finding out Ely Stadium will be getting a new stadium scoreboard during the production of “Live! with Kelly and Michael” in New York. It turns out, the new scoreboard will cost the district $75,000. DAVID RUSSELL/DISNEY-ABC DOMESTIC TELEVISION

ELYRIA — That brand-new, state-of-the-art digital wireless scoreboard Elyria Schools thought it was receiving free of charge from the “Live with Kelly and Michael” show is not going to be free at all.

The nationally syndicated show, which named the district’s own Stacie Starr as the winner of the 2014 National Top Teacher Search, gifted Elyria with a new scoreboard worth roughly $16,000.

However, when it comes to scoreboards and stadiums, size matters, which explains how Elyria has gone from basking in the glory of winning a free scoreboard to the school board approving spending $75,000 on a scoreboard upgrade.

“We, of course, are very happy, grateful and appreciative the national show recognized our teacher and they even thought of her school,” Superintendent Paul Rigd said. “We don’t want to sound ungrateful. That’s a large amount of money, and we are very grateful the show thought of us with this offer.”

Here’s the rub.

The $16,000 the show allocated for a scoreboard would get one roughly 8 feet in size.

Ely Stadium is in need on a new, updated scoreboard for football games. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Ely Stadium is in need on a new, updated scoreboard for football games. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

The current scoreboard — although it is old and outdated — is 32 feet in length. The same size scoreboard in the digital wireless model selected for the school would be roughly $100,000, said Rigda.

“We couldn’t spend that kind of money even with the $16,000 donation. We knew we needed a scoreboard, so the question became how to get a comparable scoreboard that would fit inside our stadium and how would we pay for it,” Rigda said.

School Specialty Inc., is the company the show used to provide the scoreboard, and the district has since worked out a deal with them to purchase a 24-foot scoreboard with all the bells and whistles previous announced — radio-controlled with wireless access in the press box and a 25-hour rechargeable battery — for roughly $80,000.

The $75,000 school board members approved spending Wednesday includes $64,000 for the scoreboard (the balance made up with the $16,000 contribution from the school) and $11,000 for contingency costs in case a problem arises.

Jim Wall, the district’s director of business services, said the district is on a tight schedule to have the old scoreboard removed, the new one installed and employees trained how to use it before the first home football game Sept. 5.

“My expectation is it will be up and running for that first game,” Wall said. “We are going to do everything in our power to make that happen and told everyone they will have what they need to get it done.”

To offset the cost of the scoreboard — the district’s general fund is advancing the $75,000 — there will be 12 advertising spots available that are being sold for $1,000 a year for five years. Contracts for seven spots have already been signed.

Wall said five advertising spaces are still available. The advertising revenue will be returned to the general fund over time and then to the Athletic Department.

“I think I can speak for many people when I say I had no idea what a scoreboard would cost,” Rigda said. “I think we all thought that at first it was going to be free. But the bottom line is we needed a new scoreboard anyway, and that is why we told the show that is what we needed when they came to us with a wish list.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • Sis Delish

    Way to go Stacy!!! You get A NEW Car and the school gets A New Bill!!!


    • tickmeoff

      That’s low Sis, like she had any control over this. Look at it this way, the school got a 16,000 dollar discount. I guess if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t.

      • Sis Delish

        Took how many months for the school to disclose after the puff piece about the “score”? LOL!

        • 2Cents

          My guess is the initial estimate came from a non-union shop like Acme Sign Co. but because of the Davis-Bacon Act, it has to be made by a shop with union wages. If they were smart (which they aren’t) they should get the Alumni to fund a scoreboard and “Donate” it. Have ABC write the $16,000 check out to the Alumni Fund . . . perfectly legal and zero cost to the taxpayers. The cost of the new sign would be more reasonable and nobody gets their palm greased.

      • HowAboutThisOne?

        Sis only knows low, since it works at the paper, huh Bruce?

    • Mark B

      And the tax payer gets the shaft with no lube. Just after getting a new school levy . How arrogant

  • pat2009


    You know 64,000 could pay the salary and benefits of a new teacher? God forbid we try to reduce class size or focus on education.

    Elyria Schools just got bamboozled. Basically, 20% off a scoreboard.

    It isn’t like an investment in facilities would help to recruit student-athletes or build school culture, it is just a waste.

    • Pablo Jones

      Of a new teacher. Won’t cover the wages of a teacher that has been around a few years.

  • bigmacky

    so why not take the 16k and put it to use for school maintenance? is a new scoreboard going to improve student performance? if it isn’t broken – why fix it?

  • Bob Haas

    WTH!! They are spending that much money on something that’s used what, 5 times a year?! Why get a new scoreboard at all?

  • Pablo Jones

    Why don’t they go back to Coke or Pepsi and see if they will sponsor them again. Maybe they can’t since they banned pop from the school.

  • copperbill

    That scoreboard will really help in making our children smarter and survive in future job markets and society. Educate them with the money so they can read one and under stand mathematical scores. Sports win voters and we have all lost our value of education to sports. Buy small one and give them all cheap binoculars !!!

  • Sis Delish

    Chalk Board and Eraser no long “cool”?

    • 2Cents

      It’s cool if that’s all you can afford.

    • Pablo Jones

      If you have neon chalk and a black light it is cool. Problem is union regulations prevent someone from climbing more than 5 feet without the proper certifications and safety equipment. Add all the costs up and you are looking at $50-60,000 a season.

  • getamoveon

    Did anyone just read that 6 out of the 7 starters are on the National Honors Society for Football. And the football stadium has been there since my mother went to school and she is 72. They do not have turf, no new stadium it’s a scoreboard that advertisement will offset cost for the next 5 years. Be proud of your teachers and students for their acheivements. And by the way Sis Delish do you know Stacy? Probably not because that comment would not be here if you did. EHS has many exceptional teachers within the walls that do wonderful jobs everyday. Lets see the scoreboard has been used for 5 times a year for at least since the seventies in OHIO weather.

    • Sis Delish

      Advertisement to pay for a Scoreboard used 5 times a year?

      Let’s do the math. Assume 3,000 folks attend Each Game.
      15,000 “impressions” per year.
      A reasonable charge would be $45.00 per Spot, per Season, IMO based on the number of “eyes” who will see the ad for the 3-4 hours they are at the stadium.

      I’ll bet Google or Amazon are drooling at the opportunity to have a space on the scoreboard?

      • Pablo Jones

        But the ads will probably still be there after 5 years. Coke probably only signed on for 10 years and they still get free advertising.

        • Sis Delish

          $45.00 x 5 = $225.00 over five years.

          • Pablo Jones

            Tax write-off.

    • Pablo Jones

      Are we talking about soccer or football, there are more than 7 starters on the team. They probably have around 30 starters (offense, defense, special teams, and the different receivers and running backs.)

      Artificial turf is horrible and doesn’t compare to having nice thick grass. The scoreboard was added when they merged Elyria West into Elyria High, around the summer of 1996.

  • Pablo Jones

    Teacher wages and compensation goes up roughly $400,000 a year. Freeze wage increases for a year and buy one 4 times the size of the one they have now.

    Or they can reach out to the Browns and see if they can pick up one of their old score boards.

  • Pablo Jones

    Ok so they say there are 12 advertising spots available. Looking at the picture there are only 6 spots. So the advertisements will be half the size of what is currently on there and no one can read. On top of it there are only 3 advertisements on there. I’m thinking the ads won’t cover the full cost.

    • Sis Delish

      Folks against School Levies should buy up the spaces.

    • golfingirl

      Maybe the CT could advertise.

      Seriously…… It would be a way for them to give back to Elyria, in a tax-deductible manner, receiving good will and advertising directly to their local customer base.

      The Avon Lake scoreboard has video, so the advertising is like a TV commercial….and can change constantly.

      This allows for more ads, and a lower cost per ad for the advertisers. No long term commitments.

  • golfingirl

    Avon Lake’s scoreboard was well over $100k and paid for through personal donations.

    No taxpayer dollars were spent.

    Maybe they can raise the price of tickets for those attending the games to cover a part of the cost?

    I mean, they raised over $40k for a fireworks show that last about an hour.

    • johns62

      Ticket prices are dictated by the

      • golfingirl

        Did not know that….thanks.

  • Allan Jones

    and the taxpayers get screwed again, and again, and again……as some one mentioned earlier, for 5 games a year…….give me a break……

  • getamoveon

    12 advertising spots available that are being sold for $1,000 a year for five years
    12 spots/yr x $1,000/yr = $12,000.00 x 5yrs = $60,000 + $16,000 won by Stacy = $76,000.00

    • johns62

      it get more use than just 5 games, as does most HS stadiums

      • Pablo Jones

        Occasionally they let the Freshman or JV play their games there and they could use it. But that is like saying they get use out of the score board if they use it during practice. Plus letting them play on the field tears it up so that shouldn’t even happen.

        Can’t use it for track and field unless you are just using it as a clock.

        You can use it for soccer. But a soccer field is larger than a football field and it limits the quality of their game to play on a football field just to let them use a scoreboard.

        I don’t think Elyria has lacrosse. I can’t think of any other uses it would get.

  • Heather Sorg

    We were just talking about this yesterday at soccer practice. That is a real bummer that we have to spend money we don’t really have for this even though it was supposed to be a gift. It would be nice if one of the city’s bigger money making companies would donate to cover the remaining cost.

    • Mark B

      They didn’t have to spend a dime , they could of just kept the old one .

  • SpaceTech

    $75 thousand dollars for a sports scoreboard?
    They should be more concerned with reading, writing, arithmetic…….and heroin education.

  • HowAboutThisOne?
  • stillsleepyeyes

    It’s for the children……………………..

  • dave potts

    Maybe they could sell pink cookies to raise additional money