A proposal to install advertising on some scoreboards at Glenbard District 87 high schools has garnered mixed reaction from school board members.
In May, athletic directors at Glenbard's four high schools met with officials from Side Effects, Inc., an Ohio-based company that secures sponsorships from businesses to help fund new scoreboards.
The company's proposal calls for a 10-year agreement, during which it would split advertising proceeds with the school district. Glenbard's share would be used to pay $88,505 in estimated equipment costs of four new or modified scoreboards.
But at the conclusion of the ten-year period, the school district would be left with $208,995 in revenues, according to the proposal.
Glenbard officials have discussed getting new football scoreboards at Glenbard East and South, a new LED advertising cabinet on the football scoreboard at Glenbard West, and a new scrolling sign cabinet and statistical displays on the basketball scoreboard at Glenbard North.
Board member Tom Voltaggio said during a meeting Tuesday that before the full school board makes a decision, the board's policy committee should consider the merits and drawbacks of advertising on campus. He said he's not for or against advertising on scoreboards -- but that's a topic the committee should discuss.
"Are we going to go into the advertising business to fulfill our programs? That's a philosophical question." Voltaggio said.
Board Vice President Rose Malcolm said board members would need to consider the idea of "forced advertising" inside schools.
"It's one thing if it's on the football scoreboard. You choose to go to the game," Malcolm said. "When students go to school ... they have to be in that spot. Are we advertising to them?"
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Student Services Rod Molek said the school board would have to approve all advertising that is displayed on the scoreboards. Officials from all villages in which Glenbard schools are located -- Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream and Lombard -- have confirmed that no special variances would be needed to install the scoreboard advertising.
Molek noted schools in Wheaton and Barrington have similar arrangements with local advertisers to help fund the cost of new scoreboards. He said the revenue stream could help fund improvements of athletic facilities at a time when budgets are tight.
But he recommended the district put out a request for proposals to see if there are other vendors that might present a more favorable revenue outlook.
Board President Rich Heim said the policy committee would look at the advertising proposal. In the meantime, if there's "an urgent need" to fix the existing scoreboards at Glenbard East and South, the district could pay for it as a capital expenditure, he said.