Joplin School District officials will be contacting area businesses and patrons purchasing advertising to pay for a big video scoreboard and an expansion to the press box at Junge Field.
Assistant Superintendent Kerry Sachetta said the district wants to pay the estimated $800,000 bill for these purchases entirely from advertising agreements with area businesses, and hopes to have the video board and possibly the press box expansion in place by the start of the 2021 football season.
“We’re hoping we’re going to get the video board for around $400,000,” Sachetta said. “The other thing about the press box is that right now that’s a moving number because you’re talking about getting scaffolding or a crane to help add on to a structure like that. There’s some cosmetic things we also want to take care of through our own capital projects fund for the facility as well. We’re hoping it’ll be less than $800,000, but that’s our cost estimate now.”
Sachetta said the video scoreboard will be similar to those boards seen at the football stadiums at Carthage and Webb City.
As for the press box, Sachetta said the district would like to add 25 feet to either end of that structure.
“We also want to put a new heating and ventilation system in it because we want to make sure it’s climate controlled for the equipment,” Sachetta said. “There’s an extensive amount of equipment we’ll add, so we want to be able to restructure the middle of the press box about where the camera is, where the timer is, where the scorekeeper is and where the video board operator is, so there’s a lot of things that will be caught up in there. We want to utilize JET-HD (the district’s television station) and their experience for how we design the space in there.”
Sachetta said the district has received positive responses from businesses it has reached out to already, and they feel confident they can have the advertising contracts in place by February or early March at the latest.
In other business, the board approved the lowest bid, $27,299 from TCI Inc., to replace the intercom and speaker system at Soaring Heights Elementary and East Middle School.
Other bidders were TEC Inc. at $27,342 and Heartland at $28,735.
The board also approved spending $131,842 to buy Chromebook computers for all fifth grade students in the district using money from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
The board was told that every fifth grade student will receive a Chromebook laptop computer, and in most cases they will leave them at the school. The Chromebooks can be sent with the students if the school has to shift to virtual education.
The board also approved a committee to decide on a name for the new elementary school to be built at Dover Hill Park. Sachetta said the committee — including community members, two Joplin High School students who attended West Central and Columbian elementary schools, and two board members — will meet in January and could have a proposed name by the January board meeting.