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TWINSBURG -- Four business sponsors will cover the cost of a new scoreboard at Tiger Stadium and two new scoreboards for the high school gymnasium, which district officials say should be ready for the fall sports seasons.
Sponsorship agreements with the American Bottling Co., Carpet Country, Cardinal Health and University Hospitals, as well as an agreement with Daktronics Sports Marketing for the new scoreboard, were unanimously approved at the Board of Education's March 15 meeting. The sponsors will also cover the cost of four new LCD screens in the Twinsburg High School Commons area and auditorium.
Superintendent Kathryn Powers said the $300,346 cost for the scoreboards and LCD screens will be fully funded by the sponsors.
"Mr. [Chad] Welker [business manager for the district] and I have been very busy through the summer and straight through now," Powers said about obtaining the sponsorships. "We have been interested in a new scoreboard at Tiger Stadium and the gymnasium, and LCD screens in the commons area. We realized this would be an expensive project, so we knew we would have to seek the assistance of corporate sponsorships."
With more than 200,000 visitors to Tiger Stadium "in any given year," and 50,000 visitors to the gymnasium, Powers said the district hopes to get the new scoreboards up this summer and ready for use by the start of the 2017-18 school year.
The four large LCD screens, three for the commons area in the high school and one for just outside the auditorium, also will be installed over the summer, she said.
"The purpose of these screens will be to simulcast from the stage in the auditorium to the screens," Powers said.
The Board approved five-year, $50,000 contracts with Carpet Country and Cardinal Health, both in Twinsburg. The Board also approved a six-year sponsorship agreement with the American Bottling Co., which has its headquarters in Plano, Texas, for $55,000; and an eight-year, $100,000 sponsorship agreement with University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood.
"These are four outstanding business partners in our community who just really really believe in our Twinsburg Tigers and want to be a part of this very exciting project," Powers said.
University Hospitals and the American Bottling Co. will also provide "a number of value-added services" to the district, Welker said.
The American Bottling Co. will donate products such as vending machines, coolers, sideline kits, recycling bins and menu boards that are customized with the school district's logo; offer commissions and rebates for products sold; and discounted pricing for other products, Welker said.
In addition, the company will make an annual $750 donation to the Twinsburg Schools Foundation for teacher grants, Powers said.
University Hospitals will offer CPR and AED training to students and staff, annual athletic physicals, seasonal nutrition and sports medicine presentations to parents and students, and offer inPACT Concussion Testing.
Welker said CPR and AED training is already mandated for staff and graduating seniors.
"Superintendent Powers and I have ... talked about that unfunded mandate," Welker said. "A number of school districts are trying to figure out how they will be able to afford that, so we were able to bundle that in to the UH contract."
A typical course offered by the American Red Cross is $63 per person, Powers said in a March 17 email.
In addition, the district's team physician will be maintained through this contract, and a substitute athletic trainer will be provided through the University Hospitals, Welker said.
The additional benefits that will be provided by the American Bottling Co. and by University Hospitals, provided in addition to the monetary sponsorship, "far exceeds the cost of three scoreboards," Powers said.
Powers said that University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center is also "a tremendous partner" in the district's new Tiger Academy, which next year will offer career training, community talks and programs to high school students in three distinct avenues.
The scoreboards will also provide educational opportunities, Powers said, as students will be taught to operate the boards.
"We're very excited by the fact that when we install these multimedia devices, we want our students to be hands-on with these," she said.
Board members said corporate money can be tough to come by.
"I want to give a heartfelt thank you to the sponsors, who stepped up in a big way," said Board President Mark Curtis. "This is truly a value addition. There has been a lot of work that has gone on behind the scenes."
Board Vice President Matt Cellura said the sponsors have strong ties to the area, an important consideration.
"These are all businesses located in the district," he said. "While their headquarters might be elsewhere like Plano, Texas, they are part of the community."
Board member Kathy Turle-Waldron commended the "great work" done by Powers and Welker.
"This is so exciting," Turle-Waldron said. "We've been in talks about this for more than a year."
Board member Tina Davis said she could "envision a senior night, with pictures of each of the seniors, shown one at a time" on the LCD screens.
"Corporate dollars are hard to come by," said Board member Rob Felber.