Some school scoreboards aged, failing

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Benson Pubic Schools’ Activities Committee will be looking into the costs and a schedule for replacing scoreboards in the district’s gymnasiums and outdoor sports facilities.

Benson Public Schools’ scoreboards range in shape from barely hanging on to okay, Activities Director Shannon Schmidt told the board of education at its May 15 meeting. She told the board that she was giving it the update on the scoreboards so that it didn’t end up one day with a gym or field without a working scoreboard.

If the school district were to modernize all its scoreboards, including upgrading with digital video screens, it could cost over $100,000 based on the experiences of other school districts in the area.

The softball field scoreboard is from around 2005 and was purchased used, she said. It is in the worst shape of any of the district’s scoreboards and needs to be replaced.

“It is pretty ‘prehistoric,’ for lack of a better word,” Schmidt said. It is only used for keeping the score with the lower half that gives balls, strikes and outs not used. There are some parts for the scoreboard for which there are no replacements if something goes wrong, she said.

Benson Senior High School gymnasium scoreboards are decades old. They don’t make the bulbs for the scoreboards any more, Schmidt told the school board. About 10 to 12 bulbs need to be replaced a year. The school can’t find the bulbs anywhere any more and the spares are going to run out at some point. Also, they no longer make the drivers for the scoreboards, so if the school is struck by lightening and the scoreboard driver gets fried, there are no replacement parts, she said.

Benson’s baseball scoreboard was purchased with City of Benson funds, Benson Baseball Association funds and school funds with each contributing $8,000 to $9,000. It is a relatively new scoreboard.

The Northside Elementary and BHS auxiliary gym scoreboards are not as high a priority. They are used in the winter frequently and are working well right now, Schmidt said.

The Junior High auditorium scoreboard probably gets used the least. When using the gym, sports can use a tabletop scoreboard for games. It does have a clock that is useable.

The BHS football field scoreboard has had some updates over the years that have kept it relatively up to date and in operation. It is not as high a priority as some of the other scoreboards, Schmidt said....


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