Stadium to get new video board

COVINGTON - Football fans in Newton County will get a better view of the scoreboard in the fall.

In addition to the field house renovations and other improvements at Sharp Stadium this summer, the Newton County School System plans to install a new video board.

The Newton County Board of Education approved during its April work session the purchase of a $142,111 video board and equipment from Electro-Mech Scoreboard Company in Wrightsville, which supplies all of the scoreboards in the Newton County School System. Officials from NCSS and the three county high schools presented the request to the school board in February.

"It would be an advantage for these students," said Chris Haymore, assistant principal at Alcovy High School, pointing out it would allow each school to use school colors and sponsors during games and provide live feeds during the games.

According to a price quote from Electro-Mech, the board measures 32 feet wide by 8 feet high with red digits and white accent striping. It also allows for advertisement displays and includes with it controllers, a DVD player and three laptop computers.

Deborah Robertson, associate superintendent for administration at the NCSS, said the cost of the new scoreboard is less than school officials first expected. The original cost of the board was $125,844, plus $20,500 for installation, but school system Maintenance Director Bill Rosser approached Coca-Cola for sponsorship, which reduced the cost of the board by $4,233.

The project is funded through SPLOST dollars for stadium renovations.

In a work session tonight, the Newton County Board of Education plans to discuss and vote on the possibility of upgrading Sharp Stadium's visitors stands as another part of the stadium renovations in the SPLOST fund. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Newton County Board of Education building at 2109 Newton Drive N.E. in Covington.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.