The Bulletin asked Brownwood school Superintendent Dr. Joe Young to elaborate on how the district will pay the nearly $500,000 bill for a new scoreboard at Gordon Wood Stadium, and to respond to critics who say the district should spend that money on higher priorities.
    School board members unanimously voted Monday night to award a $499,413 bid to Daktronics, a South-Dakota based company that will install a scoreboard that includes a video display, three cameras and sound system in time for the start of the 2017 football season.
    The existing scoreboard is 22 years old and is worn out, and required the presence of an electrician when it was in use last year to keep it running, Young said.
    The expenditure for the new scoreboard isn’t impacting what the district spends on the classroom and other needs, Young said. Young hopes — but knows he can’t guarantee — that sponsorships and advertising will recoup the cost, which will initially be paid from the school district’s current budget.
    Young said via email:
    “The funds allocated for the scoreboard are funds from the $5.7 million fund balance.
    “The budget for the 2016-2017 school year wasn’t impacted by this expenditure, nor will money be taken from future budgets (2017-beyond).
     “The $500,000 will be moved to a scoreboard fund and the general fund balance will be reduced to $5.2 million. Sponsorships are then deposited in the scoreboard fund to transparently track the process. Our yearly school (classroom) budgets are not affected.”
    The new scoreboard is an infrastructure investment, Young said in an interview in his office.
    “We do a lot of good things for kids in the Brownwood ISD,” Young said. The district has a budget of about $26 million, which includes $20 million for classroom instruction — and when other services such as library and counseling are added in, the number goes higher, Young said.
    See Sunday’s Bulletin for more of Young’s thoughts on the scoreboard and on areas in which the district has made or plans to make improvements.