Matthews donates land to R-6 District

Saturday, November 22, 2014

SIKESTON -- The Sikeston R-6 School District has acquired some new land for future development.

Sikeston R-6 Superintendent Tom Williams told Board of Education members during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday that Sikeston resident Scott Matthews offered to donate to the district 8.75 acres located south of Col. George E. Day Parkway and next to Brunt Boulevard.

"This is very generous of Scott, obviously, and it's a great opportunity for us," board member Jim Gleason commented. "Pass along my thanks to him for considering our schools for this."

Board member Rebecca Steward nodded in agreement and said: "Absolutely."

Williams showed board members a map of Sikeston that outlined the land Matthews offered. He noted the land is located in the Sikeston R-6 School District.

"We're very appreciative of this, and it gives us an opportunity to -- down the road -- have land available that we're able to build some type of campus structure whatever it may be - but it allows us to do so in a growing area and section of the town as well."

The Board voted unanimously to accept the land donation under board policy KH, which deals with public gifts to the schools.

"On behalf of Sikeston R-6 Schools, we want to say thank you to Scott Matthews for that generous donation," Williams said.

In other business, the Board also awarded the bid for football and basketball scoreboards to Daktronics, which is based in South Dakota. The scoreboards will be 100 percent paid through advertisements, said R-6 Athletic Director Andy McGill.

"Right now we're unable to get new parts for our controllers or scoreboards because they've been discontinued and are just out of date," McGill told the Board. "Mike Brown (director of grounds and facilities) and his crew have spent a lot of manpower -- usually on game day -- to make sure they're up and running and there's still no guarantee of that once the game starts.

The football scoreboard was installed in 1999 and the basketball scoreboard in 1992, McGill said.

"We requested bids for installation, and five companies showed interest," McGill said. "We received two bids -- from Nevco based out of Illinois and Daktronics based out of South Dakota."

McGill said the bid from Daktronics was considerably lower -- $50,000 less-- than Nevco, which bid $473,022. Daktronics bid $428,592, which includes both the football field and the Field House.

"The purchase will be made through advertising -- 100 percent through advertising and commitments of advertising through local businesses," McGill said.

A meeting for prospective advertisers will be at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in the high school cafeteria.

"Daktronics will come and give a presentation on what the different levels of advertising are and how the advertising would work," McGill said.

With the Board's approval of the bid by Daktronics, the advertising and marketing plan will begin, McGill said.

"We will not purchase the scoreboards until we have 100 percent commitment from the advertisers," McGill said. "Daktronics and myself will head up and handle solicitation of advertising."

Board member Amy Blanton noted several surrounding school districts, such as Cape, Poplar Bluff and Farmington have secured the scoreboards they have in this way.

"Depending on the levels of how the marketing plan is done, at some point and time, this will be a revenue source," McGill said. "After the purchase and completion of all commitments, it gives an opportunity for the high school to generate revenue through advertising."

Advertisements will be static and through videos and video commercials, McGill said. The new scoreboards would give opportunities for high school students and fans to be involved.

"Students will help run the advertisements through the TV production class," McGill said.

Board President Deke Lape noted both facilities will need some sort of scoreboard in the near future, and this provides another means to pay for the scoreboards and a potential source of revenue for the school.

"I think that's a terrific way to do it," Lape said of the advertising and marketing plan.

McGill said the lifetime expectancy of the new scoreboards is a five-year guarantee and 10 to 15 years after that.

"We're supposed to pay off (Daktronics) in the first five years of that guaranteed period," McGill said.

Those who want to learn about advertising opportunities can contact McGill at the high school or attend the Dec. 1 meeting.

Also on Tuesday, the Board accepted a resolution for filing in the R-6 district for the April 7, 2015, school board election. Filing begins at 8 a.m. Dec. 16 and ends at 5 p.m. Jan. 20 at the office of board secretary Bryan E. Nickell, 219 S. Kingshighway in Sikeston, board members noted during Tuesday's regular monthly meeting. Board members whose three-year terms will expire are vice president David Jones and member Chris Hodgkiss.