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Support voiced for Quintal scoreboard plan

The existing Mitchell High School scoreboard at Joe Quintal Field. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)1 / 2
A drawing of what a new scoreboard at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell might look like. (Image courtesy of Mitchell School District and Daktronics)2 / 2

Doug Greenway did not mince words about the scoreboard at Joe Quintal Field.

“I’ve been fortunate to have been to all of the stadiums in our conference across the state, and we by far have the worst scoreboard and maybe the worst sound system,” Greenway, of Mitchell, said during a Mitchell Board of Education meeting Monday night at L.B. Williams Elementary School.

0 Talk about it

Replacing the scoreboard and sound system at Joe Quintal Field — the site of all Mitchell High School home varsity football games — was discussed at the meeting. Greenway, whose twin sons Jason and Justin were standouts for MHS and now play at Augustana College, attended to show support for a new scoreboard.

“With a new scoreboard and sound system, I think it will be one of the best facilities in our conference, if not the state,” Greenway said.

Superintendent Joe Graves explained the scoreboard needs to be replaced, “or we won’t have a scoreboard to use for a season, which would be a big problem.”

Graves is recommending the purchase of a model similar to one made by Daktronics shown at the meeting that costs $220,000, which would have messaging capabilities and could show players’ faces and statistics. The plan is to have it installed by the start of next year’s football season in the fall.

It was estimated at the meeting the current scoreboard was installed in the 1984-85 school year. Graves said replacement parts for the current scoreboard are no longer made and that it is time to look into a new scoreboard after years of rejecting upgrade proposals.

In addition to a new scoreboard at Quintal, Activities Director Geoff Gross said a new sound system for the stadium will also be pursued. He said the sound would come from a single location, whereas now there are speakers set up around the stadium that project sound. Gross explained the scoreboard and sound system would be similar to ones that are at other Eastern South Dakota Conference schools such as Yankton, Pierre and Huron.

Graves told the board no action was needed, and the project would move forward unless any major concerns by members were brought up. The board showed support for the new scoreboard, including Deb Olson, a former principal at L.B. Williams.

“I think it’s past time, given we can’t get parts for it,” Olson said. “You hate these expenses and the amount that it costs, but it’s past time.”

Graves said the scoreboard would be paid for with $70,000 from capital outlay funds in next school year’s budget, and the remaining $150,000 would be sought from private sources.

“We’re talking with Dakota Wesleyan University, who would work with us to help find those private sources of straight donations and in exchange for advertising on the board,” Graves said.

Three levels of scoreboards were used as examples at the meeting, with prices including $181,000, $220,000 and $294,000. All of the scoreboards that were discussed are made by Daktronics, a Brookings-based company that makes scoreboards and display screens.

Although the Daktronics scoreboards were discussed Monday, they were only used as samples. Graves explained the project will be put out to bid. The most expensive model discussed had video capabilities, but it was explained that would require extra staffing to provide footage of the game.

Greenway said he has sat on two boards that have helped upgrade scoreboards in town, including scoreboards at the Corn Palace and another at Cadwell Park.

He said a new scoreboard with video could help recruiting for DWU’s football team and added that while his sons were choosing their school to play collegiate football, it was impressive when a university could put up highlights and pictures from their games.

The new scoreboard, along with playing at the recently upgraded stadium, could be a feature DWU football coach Ross Cimpl could use to entice players to play for the Tigers, Greenway said.

“I would encourage you to look at that higher-end video capability,” Greenway said. “It’s been 30 years, and it’s going to be 30 or 40 years before we do it again, so let’s do it right.”

In 2010, the stadium was demolished and replaced with a new, $2.9 million structure. The old capacity of the stadium was about 1,200 and jumped to 1,746 after the changes.

Gross said the addition of a new scoreboard and sound system were both items that the district wanted to pursue during the construction of the stadium, but it was not feasible at the time.

Other business

In other business Monday, board members:

  • Saw a presentation from L.B. Williams Principal Becky Roth, fifth-grade teacher Stacy Morgan and five students about problem-based learning under the mass customized learning pilot.
  • Approved a consent agenda that included minutes from a past meeting, claims, personnel items and open enrollment.
  • Approved a resolution on first reading to revise Board Policy 211 — Board Member Compensation and Expenses, which restores compensation to board members to levels prior to cuts two years ago; those revisions now include compensation for no more than 40 per diem events per year for a total maximum annual allocation of $2,400 per member, not including reimbursements for travel.
  • Approved setting the date for the joint city/school election for June 3 in which the school board seat held by Dana Price is up for election.
  • Heard a report from Mitchell resident Steve Sibson on the Common Core standards.
  • Took a tour of L.B. Williams Elementary.
  • Announced board member Rick Johnson was absent.

Personnel changes

The board approved the following personnel items:

Spring adjunct/MTI: Julie Hart-Schutte, SOC100, compensation $1,785; Megan Mentzel, Psych100, $1,785; Beth Schnider, Math 091 and Eng 091, $2,380; Jed Schoenfelder, Welding BC 282, $1,575; Pamela Brewer, Spring 2014 team, $500.

Resignations: Terri Taylor, accounts payable/MTI, effective April 18; Lindsey Kieffer, food service/MTI, effective Jan. 6.

New hire: Brenda Cain, prep cook/cashier, high school, seven hours daily at $10.25 an hour, effective Jan. 27.

Volunteer: Amelia Rew, volunteer gymnastics coach, effective 2013-14 season.