PEPPER PIKE — The Orange City School District is in line for a new scoreboard. The city Planning and Zoning Commission last week approved a proposal for a new $25,000 high school football scoreboard, which required three variances from the zoning code. The code does not have a section dedicated to scoreboards, so this proposal fell into the category of signs.

This is part of an overall $222,000 plan for scoreboard updates throughout the district.

The current proposal for the high school football stadium is more “modest” than the plan presented in 2016 for a $120,000 board that would have featured a 170-square-foot video display, commission member Bill Melsop said. At that time, three sponsors offered to pay the Orange City School District a combined $30,000 over four years to have their logos displayed on the board for the next 11 years. Billboard advertisements are not permitted in Pepper Pike, according to the code, so the planning commission sidelined that proposal.

“It was a very elaborate sign that displayed advertising and in my opinion it was very inappropriate,” Mr. Melsop said. “I find this to be a much more reasonable proposal by the school.”

Orange school district Superintendent Lynn Campbell presented the plan for the new scoreboard before the planning commission Monday, explaining that it is 25-feet long and 15-feet tall. He said that this board would be 2 feet higher and 5 feet longer than the current scoreboard, which has not worked on multiple occasions. The zoning code requires that a free-standing sign will not exceed 24 square feet in area or 6 feet in height. Therefore, the scoreboard needed an area and height variance.

Dr. Campbell also said that there will be a directional speaker pointing toward the stadium, but the code does not allow signs to make noise. The proposal also required a speaker system variance, according to Pepper Pike Mayor Richard Bain. Dan Good, a representative from Daktronics, said that the scoreboard will have a message center to engage with the audience. It can be connected to a laptop to display graphics but the board itself is wireless. The message center, which costs an additional $25,200, will be 8-feet long and 5-feet tall. The board will also say “Orange Lions” across the top with a lion graphic.

Chagrin Boulevard resident Diane Sahley, who lives across the street from the school district, shared her concerns during the public hearing, also held on July 1. She said that she is worried about additional light and noise pollution from a bigger scoreboard.

“This will be longer and higher with dual speakers,” she said. “It won’t make our property any more attractive. What’s happening on Chagrin is a distraction from property value.”

Ms. Sahley also referred to the current message board in front of Orange High School, saying that it creates an orange glow in her house, especially when the ground is snow covered. Dr. Campbell offered to speak with Ms. Sahley to address her concerns.

Mayor Bain thanked Dr. Campbell for his fiscal management regarding the scoreboard. Dr. Campbell said that the total expense for the proposed board in 2016 was similar to the cost to replace every scoreboard on campus, which the district is preparing to do now.

The purchase of the football scoreboard will be tied into a larger purchase from Daktronics for a series of scoreboards around the district. In a $222,474 contract, the district plans to purchase two baseball and softball scoreboards, two scoreboards that can be used for basketball, volleyball and wrestling, a football scoreboard at Brady Middle School in addition to the football scoreboard at Orange High School.

The contract was up for discussion at Monday’s Board of Education meeting. Dr. Campbell advised board members that the high school scoreboard will come before Pepper Pike’s Architectural Review Board on Friday. The board of education is holding a special meeting on July 16 at 7:30 a.m. at the Pepper Pike Learning Center to further review the Daktronics contract.

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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