Approved by the Watertown-Mayer School board last June, a new LED electronic message board was finally installed in front of the Watertown-Mayer High School and Middle School entrance last week.
The 5×8-foot Daktronics message board was donated to the school by the Watertown-Mayer Booster Club and the Watertown Lions Club. Each organization made a matching $15,000 donation for the purchase.
“We just think it added a lot to the school,” Royals Booster Club President Mike Neaton said. “You see those signs at all the schools now to advertise events and put up congratulations, and it’s kind of nice. It’s been on our list to do for several years now, but other stuff just kind of kept getting put in front of it.”
The sign was in place in time for last week’s heavily attended section gymnastics and wrestling meets at the high school, but was not yet operational. In the future, those are the types of events expected to be promoted on the sign, along with notes of congratulation to athletes who qualify for state meets or achieve other noteworthy accomplishments.
The new electronic sign was placed on the same brick stand at the entrance to the campus where the old sign sat. The electronic sign now sits underneath that old sign.
“A lot of times people want to go to certain events and they just forget about it,” Neaton said. “That’s even happened to me a couple times, and I’m probably the biggest high school sports fan there is in town.”
The school board ultimately had to approve the sign, and the district will manage its content. However, the sign came at no expense to the district, something the board expressed gratitude for when it approved the purchase last year.
“We truly do have some outstanding community members that step up and do a lot for the school with the Booster Club and the Lions,” school board chairman John McCain said at that time. “It’s pretty incredible.”
Neaton said the purchase had been on the Booster Club’s radar for some time, but better than expected revenue from the new concession stand helped make the purchase possible at this time. Of course, the Lions stepping in to make a matching donation was crucial as well.
“We had saved some for it, but when this opportunity came along with the Lions, we thought, ‘this is huge,’” Neaton said. “It worked out great. The Lions a great organization and they work well with people.”
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]