POSTED: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 6:13pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 8:09am
WESLACO, TX (KVEO NEWS CENTER 23) — Plans for a new scoreboard in Weslaco have been unplugged.
The Weslaco school board held off a decision on the proposed $1 million project in favor of other improvements to district schools.
"We do not want to kill this project, we want to move it further back in line of urgency," said board member Erasmo Lopez.
The planned 27 foot by 48 foot LED screen would become the largest for a high school stadium in Texas.
It would be about five times bigger than the current screen at Bobby Lackey Stadium.
Board members say the events in Newtown, Connecticut, weighed on their minds.
Instead, they would like the money to go into new fencing and security cameras at district schools.
"I'm real excited about the getting a new scoreboard, but at this time, there's a lot of needs that the district has," Lopez said. "With security, the way it is nowadays all over the country, we need to put that ahead of projects such as this. We do not want to kill this project, we want to move it further back in line of urgency."
Organizers knew spending $1 million for a new football scoreboard would be controversial when the old one looks just fine. But proponents point out, new advertising revenue will have it paid off in about ten years.
"Though I support what the board decided, there is a bit of disappointment, because we do like to show off our production value at the games," said Steve Valdez, a proponent of the new scoreboard and an employee of the Weslaco ISD. "When you have dilapidating facilities, it's a matter of taking care of those needs first before the glamorous concept of having this scoreboard."
Even in football-crazed Texas, a $1 million high school scoreboard is bound to spark a debate. Is it a smart, profitable long-term investment? Or an unaffordable luxury?
For now, the Weslaco School Board has decided it's the latter.