As you may have heard, The Gridiron Club is spearheading a funding effort to replace and upgrade the 20 year old scoreboard at Staples Stadium. This note is intended to bring you up to speed with respect to our progress to date, and outline our next steps in the process.
Let me begin by saying that although The Gridiron Club is leading this charge on behalf of the football program, we fully recognize that Staples/PAL lacrosse teams also use Staples Stadium. We also realize that many of you have sons who play both football and lacrosse. As such, we have explored scoreboard designs that meet the needs of both the football and lacrosse programs. Separately, we are reaching out to lacrosse-only families to enlist their support of this effort, and Coach P has begun this dialog with Coach McNulty (Staples lacrosse coach). We've also begun early discussions with the Staples lacrosse board, and plan to connect with the PAL lacrosse and football programs to discuss their participation as well.
From a timing perspective relative to our fundraising efforts, we have two options: The first option is to raise 100% of the necessary funding by June 1 of this year so the scoreboard can be in place for the upcoming season; the second option is to not attempt to install the scoreboard for this season, and take a longer term approach to fundraising with the goal of installing the scoreboard for the 2016 football season.
Being an ambitious group, The Gridiron Club has chosen to pursue this first option...to have the scoreboard fully funded and installed prior to the start of this upcoming 2015 football season. The reason for the June 1 deadline is that P&Z will not allow us to break ground on the project until we are fully funded, and June 1 affords the contractor sufficient time to take down the existing scoreboard and install the new structure during the summer months.
The Gridiron Club is meeting with the Staples Football Board of Directors and Coaches on March 12th to review the attached 3 scoreboard design options under consideration. You will note that each design incorporates the capability of displaying video. This video element can also be dynamically enhanced to meet the needs of specific sports. For example, lacrosse may want to use the video unit to count down penalty minutes; whereas the football team may prefer to use the screen to highlight a touchdown; and both programs may want to leverage the capabilities for advertising purposes; and so on.
Each of the scoreboard designs we're evaluating also allow for instant replay capabilities. However, it is important to note that this functionality will not be available for the 2015 football season as a longer-term (exact timing TBD) P&Z approval/construction process is required to lay the necessary fiber optic lines under the track and field. Regardless of the delay in replay capability, we think it is best to install a video-enabled scoreboard that immediately delivers the functionality described in the paragraph above for the 2015 season, and enables the future opportunity to activate instant replay capabilities without any change to the scoreboard itself.
The cost of each of these attached scoreboard options is in the $120k-$135k range, including construction/installation. To give you a relative comparison, you will note an attached architectural drawing of our existing scoreboard which is 20 feet wide and 8 feet high.
Option One: The video screen is built into the top/center portion of the scoreboard, with the block "S" on top supported by a single truss across the entire width of the scoreboard. This scoreboard is 27 feet wide, and 12 feet 4 inches high. The video screen itself is 13.25 feet wide and 6.75 feet high.
Option Two: The video screen sits on top of the scoreboard and the block "S" sits on top of the video unit, supported by side trusses on two levels (sort of a pyramid shape). This scoreboard is 25 feet wide, and 8 feet high. The video screen on top is 13.25 feet wide and 6.75 feet high.
Option Three: This is the Darien scoreboard, and it is the same model as Option Two above, but without the block "S" on top and rather than having the second level of side trusses there are static side panels (see the Darien "D") that incorporate logos/design element.
Assuming we gain approval to move forward during the March 12th Board meeting, our next steps will be to go in front of the Board of Education to garner their support, and then P&Z to obtain the necessary permits.
Concurrent to this approval process taking place, we are going to begin a formal fundraising effort to raise the necessary revenue by June 1 in order to break ground this summer. Amanda Thaw, Chairperson of the Gridiron Club's fundraising committee, has begun informal outreach to a handful of families to gauge support. Through the generosity of these few families we already have about $25k pledged for the scoreboard, roughly 20% of the necessary total. With this terrific start, and being confident that many football and lacrosse families will want to support this effort, we are optimistic that we can collectively partner to raise the necessary funds by June 1 to insure the installation of a state-of-the-art multi-media scoreboard at Staples Stadium for the start of the 2015 football season.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide this update/overview. We will be in touch in the weeks ahead to keep you posted on our progress and to kick-off our fundraising effort in earnest. Thank you in advance for your continued support of our kids and the Wreckers football program.
Picture Slide Show
Link To Game Pictures
Game photos provided by Chris Greer
click on game to view photos