By John R. Schirmer
The Nashville School District will add another “enhancement to the game day experience” with a new video board to be installed this summer at Scrapper Stadium.
Diamond Bank will donate $500,000 toward the cost of the board, Superintendent Doug Graham told the school board last week. Graham is working to obtain two other donations of $50,000 each.
The cost of the board after $69,000 discount will be about $702,703 plus sales tax.
The school board accepted Graham’s recommendation to purchase the 26’ x 47’ video board from Ace Sports of Little Rock. “They do about 80 percent of the video boards in Arkansas,” Graham said, including those at Lake Hamilton, Hot Springs, Russellville and Rogers.
The Diamond Bank logo will appear on the board at all times, Graham said. “I can’t applaud Diamond Bank enough for their donation of $500,000. Bob Jamison stepped up to the plate big time and got it done.”
Approval of the video board came a week after the board approved the purchase of a new LED lighting system to replace the aging lights at the stadium. Together, the additions will help create an improved game day experience, according to Graham.
The LEDs and the video board will be installed in mid to late summer, Graham said.
Along with Diamond Bank and the possibility of two other sponsorships for the board, Graham said other income is under consideration. “We have some who want to be a first down sponsor or a touchdown sponsor. Those are still to be worked out.
The district will receive a $550,000 “windfall check” from the Arkansas Department of Education’s Facilities Division to reimburse the school for a new roof at Nashville Primary. The funds were originally denied by the state, and the district paid for the roof from local money. Earlier this year, the state said the request had been approved, and the district would receive reimbursement.
Graham said part of the check will be used to cover any video board costs not included in the sponsorships.
Nashville High School is expected to offer a class to teach students how to operate the board, graham said. Ace Sports will provide ongoing media consultation and support for the equipment, according to the bid the company submitted. Onsite assistance and classroom training will be provided for the media team.
“I’m satisfied that ACE has the curriculum in place. It’s been recognized by the Department of Education to offer students,” Graham said.
Scrap Media teacher Carolanne Pinegar is working with the area educational cooperative on a grant to use for equipment in the proposed media class, Graham told the board.
College doors are “wide open for students with an interest” in sports media, Graham said, including operating the video board, lights and video production equipment.
“Ouachita and Harding are recruiting students to work in sports video. I hope we’ll have a student who wants to do it,” Graham said.
According to the Ace Sports proposal, the board will “operate as a virtual scoreboard and includes three additional zones/layers for sponsors, mascots/school graphics, sport clips/animations and additional custom content.” Software is included with the package.
The board will have two 4.5’ by 26.5’ custom sound cabinets with a mesh cover including “Nashville Scrappers” and the Scrapper Str logo on the front. The speakers will have full-range speakers and dual subwoofers.