SEGUIN, Texas – The Seguin High School Matadors will be playing under some of the flashiest Friday night lights of their high school careers this week.
Seguin Independent School District is unveiling its new Jumbotron at Matador Stadium for Thursday's freshman football game and the final varsity home game on Friday. The 1,403-square-foot video scoreboard will be part of a two-scoreboard system that the district is calling the biggest in the country for a high school.
The second, 10-by-19-foot foot scoreboard will face a "newly designed fan tailgate area." Construction for that isn't scheduled to begin until sometime next summer. Together, they will have more than 1,590 square feet of LED screens.
But this system also comes with a $1.35 million price tag, which Superintendent Stetson Roane defends.
"I think giving our kids some of the same things other communities have is in line," he said.
Originally, the board of trustees approved spending up to $1.5 million for the system. That price tag worried Barbara Effenberger, who said her constituents also urged her to vote against it.
She ended up as the lone dissenting vote.
"I felt like at this time, with the building of our new high school and a lot of our other financial obligations, that it was an excessive cost," she said.
However, Roane said the system should pay for itself through marketing.
"I am saying 100 percent the district can afford this," he said, standing in front of the new Jumbotron.
Effenberger said knowing it would pay for itself changed her mind, "and I feel like it's an OK thing," she said.
Students will operate the system, and the district says it can be used for a "wide variety of community and athletic events."
"You can do without all of it, but this is something that I think our kids can really use and I think that it gives them an opportunity and an edge with regards to educational opportunities," Roane said.
While the district agreed to buy the scoreboards, it still needs to figure out how it will pay for them. Roane said they could use the district's fund balance, financing or a combination of the two.
They have some time to figure out a plan. A district spokesman said they won't have to cut a check for the project until the second board is done.