COVINGTON - Motorists passing by or visiting Eastside High School are getting a new kind of welcome this school year.
Over the summer, Newton County School System maintenance workers installed two new scrolling LED, or light-emitting diode, signs on the school campus.
"Over time, you need to upgrade the facility," EHS Principal Robert Daria said. "We are continually trying to update everything at our school."
The first new addition to the school that drivers traveling down the Bypass Road, or Eagle Drive, will notice is a new welcome and announcement sign at the campus' north entrance of the school, which is located at 10245 Eagle Drive in Covington.
Eagle green in color, the sign contains the name of the school, a scrolling LED display and some white slots.
The sign will have welcome messages, upcoming important school dates and other announcements and information for the public scrolling across it throughout the school year. School maintenance workers finished hooking up the scrolling LED part of the sign Tuesday.
"(The school welcome sign) is one of the few things the public ever sees," Daria said.
Later this school year, the 12 slots that are empty will contain advertisements for area businesses.
"It's a way for those advertisers to become our Partners in Education," Daria said.
As of Thursday afternoon, eight advertisers have signed up for the slots for this school year. He said other area businesses and organizations that are interested in becoming one of the partners should contact the school at 770-784-2920.
Daria said he is looking for more long-term advertisers and partners, rather than those who are only interested in partnering for a short amount of time.
"We have a lot of turnover in partners, so we are hoping they will sign up for the long term," he said. "We would like some continuity in the program."
He said those organizations that continue their partnerships after one year will receive a price reduction each year on the sign advertisement.
For about two years, the price advertisers pay will cover the remaining costs associated with purchasing the sign, which was financed through the school's principal's account. After that, Daria said the advertisements could bring in between $10,000 and $14,000 per year, which will be split between the school's booster club and student body.
"It's a great way ... to give back to the community," he said.
Rather than tossing out the sign that used to stand in the new sign's place, the school recycled it by moving it to the school's south entrance, near the tennis courts.
On one side, it welcomes visitors, and on the other side, it thanks visitors for visiting the school.
The outside isn't the only section of campus that received some changes. Inside of the school's main entrance, in the commons area, school maintenance workers placed a sign that reads "Eastside High School. Home of the Eagles. Where Eagles are Developed." and contains an LED display that scrolls encouraging messages and important school dates for students. The sign was donated by the school's class of 2007-08 student government organization.
"We have a great group of students, teachers and faculty here, and we want (the school) to shine like them," Daria said.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at email@example.com.