What was once a roadside billboard will have a new life this fall as a digital scoreboard for the Groveport Madison High School football field.

The school board agreed July 12 to purchase the refurbished sign for $64,000 from Digital Scoreboards LLC, a company based in Venice, Florida.

At 14 feet by 48 feet, the new scoreboard will be 20 feet longer than the one it will replace, according to Assistant Superintendent John Hurd.

District Treasurer John Walsh said the scoreboard will cost an additional $10,000 to $15,000 to install. Another $6,000 to $8,000 will be needed to replace fiber optics at the field and the electrical supply from the press box to the sign.

Walsh said the district already has commitments of up to $50,000 from eight donors to help pay for the project. In exchange for the donation, the donors will gain advertising on the scoreboard.

The district has also set aside up to $25,000 to be used from its permanent improvement fund.

Chris Kirn, co-owner and vice president of sales for Digital Scoreboards, said the major billboard companies his firm partners with nationwide take down their signs near roadways a long time before the life expectancy of the signs is reached because of the competitive nature of the industry.

In February, the company sold one of its refurbished scoreboards to Dublin Jerome High School, Kim said.

"We bring them into our facilities in Illinois and Florida and we light them back up and go through them to look for anything showing advanced age and replace any parts that need to be replaced," he said. "We put new software and hardware into the board and sell them for scoreboards, advertising and engagement purposes."

Kirn said all packages come with a "full software suite, animation packages, advertising packages," and a three-year warranty.

A tech team will be sent to the school to conduct on-site training.

"Every school wants to go digital, but most don't think they can afford it," Kirn said. "It was our focus to find a way to build a product they can afford and give them extreme customer service and walk the journey with them."

The new scoreboard is expected to be in place before the Cruisers' first home game.

Eventually, Walsh said, the new scoreboard will bring in revenue for the district each year.

"There is also a company that will partner with you," Walsh said. "It will go out and seek the ongoing advertising so at different ball games you'll see the business name run across the screen."

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