Gateway school board recently backtracked on a decision it made in April that would have allowed the district to buy a $300,000 scoreboard for the high school stadium.
Instead, officials opted to repair the old one and wait for sponsors to volunteer to fund its replacement.
In April, school directors Rick McIntyre and Jack Bova felt the price for the proposed scoreboard — the same model used by college and professional teams across the country — was too high.
Director of Facilities Robert Brown said the 16-year-old scoreboard was in “decay” and cost of the new board would, over time, be recouped because it features a screen capable of displaying videos and space for advertisers.
McIntyre and Bova dissented in a 7-2 vote to purchase the scoreboard at the April meeting.
The decision to purchase drew ire from Monroeville residents on social media. Some suggested the vote indicated officials showed favoritism to high school sports, while others criticized the purchase as being frivolous at a time when the board was considering passing a budget with a $1.9 million shortfall and a proposed tax hike. That budget passed June 27. (See story on Page 1.)
Board members repeated many of the sentiments expressed by concerned citizens when revisiting the scoreboard topic.
“I certainly would never support this scoreboard without knowing who the entity is, what the arrangement is, when they plan on providing the funds — so if we’re not anywhere near that point then let’s get this scoreboard fixed. Let’s live with the shame of an old-fashioned scoreboard,” Bova said.
School Director George Lapcevich, who was originally part of the majority vote to make the $300,000 purchase, wanted to proceed with purchasing a new scoreboard.
“What’s a 7-2 vote, if that’s the board’s decision at the time — how can we back down from the vote right now?” Lapcevich said.
Bruce Dice, the district’s solicitor, said if a contract has not been entered into, the board can delay the purchase.
The board voted 7-2 to delay the purchase of a new scoreboard despite Lapcevich’s protest. School directors Val Warning and Lapcevich dissented.
Superintendent Bill Short said administration has sought sponsorship from area businesses and companies.
Short did not respond to a request for comment.