Scoreboard rendering

DOWN IN THE END ZONE: This rendering shows the new Daktronics scoreboard that was approved by the BOE on Tuesday night.

THOMASVILLE- The Thomasville City Schools Board of Education approved a purchase order for a new Daktronics football scoreboard on Tuesday night. The scoreboard would be purchased through the general fund as a part of the larger Veterans Memorial Stadium renovation and allow for the school system to offer a video and audio pathway for students.

The approved scoreboard is 16.8 feet high and 32 feet wide and will be placed in the end zone by the new field house, where the current scoreboard is located.

“We do not have to do anything to the structure of the scoreboard,” Director of Operations Jeremy Rayburn said. “They would simply take the old one down and put the new one up. We would move the old one to the other end zone, so whenever we went full video, the clock and the score would still be visible.”

While the enhancement of Veterans Memorial Stadium excited Rayburn, he told the Board the greatest thing about the new scoreboard would be the opportunity it provided to the students.

“It would allow us to create an audio/video class at the high school and middle school level,” Rayburn said. “We would use those students to design graphics, create videos and commercials that would be used on this scoreboard.”

Rayburn asserted that the audio/video pathway has long been a need at Thomasville City Schools.

“A lot of students come through here and have that ability and now we tap into that resource to make our events better and also give them a pathway to where they would like to go,” Rayburn said.

Daktronics provides a curriculum for the audio/video pathway.

“With this pathway, students would have the ability to train to use this equipment,” Rayburn said.

Rayburn listed a number of colleges and universities that utilize Daktronics scoreboard equipment, which would allow students to then be able to attend those same universities to help run equipment there.

“They would also have the ability to connect with these colleges and learn from them to benefit our school,” he said.

Rayburn said the scoreboard would be used at more than just football games, as it would be a great addition to graduation, showcasing graduates receiving their diplomas, along with any other events held at the stadium.

“One of the things the company talks about is how teams can use it as fundraisers,” Rayburn said. “It would be great for Parent’s Night Out to have kids come and watch movies on the field, while the team was the babysitters. It would be something all of our teams could access.”

Rayburn went on to explain there was a fundraising plan in place for the scoreboard. The teams would not be the only ones trying to help offset the cost, as he hoped to be able to accrue $150,000 from several business donors, who would pay a set amount over five years to help pay for the cost of the new scoreboard. Board member Corey Sumner asked Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield if there was any concern about the funding not being available once the renovation project was completed to cover the cost of the scoreboard.

“Considering the size of the project and where we were, I just feel obligated to ask,” Sumner said.

Rayfield said he would not have told Rayburn to present the purchase order if he did not feel confident in the funding.

“When they came to me with the idea, the only way I felt comfortable bringing it to you (the board), was if they came up with half the cost through fundraising,” Rayfield said.

Sumner clarified that the $150,000 would only be through donations, while advertising dollars would not go toward the board and the reimbursement over the next five years, but be spread through the teams whom the business was supporting.

Rayburn confirmed that was the plan moving forward.

“I went through this identical process in Bainbridge and we actually had to turn people away who wanted to be on the board,” Rayfield said. “It was easily done; the ads will sell. It’s just a matter of who those ads will end up being.”

Upon hearing Rayfield’s backing of the project, Sumner made a motion to approve the purchase order with Kejar Butler seconding the motion. Those interested in purchasing advertising space on the new scoreboard or making donations toward the project may contact Rayburn.

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