Photo by Allison Stockwell
The Shawnee Mission School District is investigating the purchase of two new video boards for each of its five high schools, which could be installed as early as the next school year.
These video boards are typically used as or alongside scoreboards in school gymnasiums. With help from the East Fund, East purchased two for the main gym last year. The additional district provided screens would bring East’s monitor count up to a grand total of four, and would allow both of the school gyms to have two each.
Ever since East has introduced the use of these boards, other SMSD high schools have expressed interest in receiving boards from the District.
“Now that they see how it actually works, everyone else wants one as well,” associate principal Jeff Storey said.
Though still in the early stages of this possible investment, the District plans to look into specific vendors and existing prices for new video boards to help make their final decision.
“We then have to decide whether that’s something we want to spend our money on,” Richard Kramer, SMSD’s athletic administrator, said. “We have to make the determination, ‘is this really worth spending that much money when there’s so much need?’ ”
The funding would potentially come from a capital outlay provided by the District, which is used for the general improvement of facilities in SMSD. Because of the widespread use of this fund and the pressure to be prudent with the money provided to the District, there is some question as to whether this is the best way to spend said funds.
Despite all the cost that may come along with this hefty purchase, Kramer also explained that the District will take into account the ability to make money with it, too. Advertisements create a large pull towards the monitors.
“I think that there’s a real value in that piece,” Kramer said. “To create a revenue stream that could eventually pay for the boards, and then go towards improvements in your building and improvements in the district.”
According to Jeff Storey, Current advertisement earnings from the East video boards could allow them to completely pay for themselves in two to three years.
On top of the initial cost, the screens might also require possible repairs in the future. Over the summer, one of East’s video boards was damaged due to a rogue basketball.
“That’s why we have to look at this carefully,” Kramer said. “We have to be responsible and accountable to our taxpayers.”