PEPPER PIKE — The Architectural Board of Review last week gave final approval for Orange High School’s new football scoreboard, which school officials say is desperately needed for the upcoming fall season. The new scoreboard, which will stand 4 feet taller and 5 feet wider than the current board, needed variances from the Planning and Zoning Commission for height, width and noise level, which were all granted at a prior meeting.

The scoreboard will come at a cost of more than $50,000 to the Orange City School District. Daktronics broke down the costs at $25,000 for the scoreboard and $25,000 for a digital messaging center. The football stadium scoreboard is one of several scoreboards that the district is planning to replace. The Orange Board of Education approved the contract during a special meeting on Tuesday.

Superintendent of Orange Schools Lynn Campbell and Athletic Director Katie Hine presented an all black option for the scoreboard to the review board instead of their previous proposal, which was black and orange. Review board Chairwoman Cindy Eickhoff said that the school board must consider the fact that residents live directly across Chagrin Boulevard from the stadium.

“Being at Planning and Zoning and having one of the residents actually show up and voice some concerns made me take a second look at this,” Ms. Eickhoff said. “This is better in terms of not being as bright. That’s a lot of orange.”

Board members, including voting members Ms. Eickhoff, Jeff Scheinberg and Bob Smith and architects Chuck Fazio and Dick Kawalek, agreed that they preferred the black scoreboard at the meeting on Friday.

Review board members discussed various concerns with the new scoreboard, including the sound system. There will be a directional speaker on the scoreboard that will point down toward the stands, focusing the sound inside the stadium and limiting any noise that may reach nearby houses, according to Dr. Campbell.

In earlier discussions regarding the new scoreboard, it was designed to have the Orange lion at the top, which would serve as the directional speaker. Review board members said that they preferred the script “O” as the speaker instead of the lion. Mr. Kawalek said that the lettering along the top of the board, which reads “Orange Lions” was too close together in the design, and suggested that the design be revised so the lettering is clear and legible.

Mr. Fazio asked about the message center, and Ms. Hine said that the content of the digital display can be reviewed by the board of education. She gave an example of how the school could use the message center for homecoming weekend, such as introducing the homecoming court and the captains of the football team and marching band.

“We are very sensitive to your concerns and I can assure you that this will go before our board of education,” Ms. Hine said.

Ms. Eickhoff said that it is important for the city to know what the school district plans to display on the message board, and Dr. Campbell said that they can send pre-fabricated images to give examples of what they plan to display on the board.

Although the review board approved the scoreboard, the district must still send review board members a design of the black scoreboard to review and guidelines for how the message center will be used.

Though the Orange district covers several communities, the stadium is located in Pepper Pike.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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