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  Legends to get new scoreboard
 
The new scoreboard will be in the same spot as the existing one on the north side of the field. Jason Betterley, Facilities and Transportation systems facilitator, anticipates the new scoreboard will be installed in early July.

Western Neon of Kalispell will install the scoreboard the district purchased from Nevco, an Illinois-based company.

The scoreboard will feature a 4- by 11-foot color message display. Besides posting game statistics and advertising, Assistant Superintendent Dan Zorn said, the district might choose to show pre-recorded video such as game highlights or showcase school programs.

Energy-efficient LEDs will replace incandescent light bulbs on the scoreboard. Discussion of replacing the Legends scoreboard is not new.

In 2010, Flathead High School graduate Terry Pugh proposed a 16- by 24-foot LED video scoreboard fit for a college stadium. Pugh’s aim was to fund the endeavor through ad revenue with the goal to use Legends as a model for schools across the state and create a broader market for advertising.

Zorn said the concept didn’t come to fruition because there was not enough interest in revenue-sharing among school districts.

The track at Legends also will get an upgrade in July after the new scoreboard is installed.

The $134,480 track renovation will be paid for through a combination of funds from the Student Activity fund and remaining end-of-year money in the general fund.

The Kalispell Public Schools board of trustees on Tuesday awarded the track contract to Triton Construction of Marion. The board also awarded a $4,200 contract for a javelin runway.

Superintendent Darlene Schottle said she didn’t expect the runway would be installed this year because it would encroach on a football practice field.

If the weather is good, Betterley estimates the track could be repaired in less than three weeks and completed in August. The track hasn’t been resurfaced in 12 years; the new surface should last another 10 to 15 years.

Betterley said repairs were needed for safety. He said portions of the track surface have separated from the underlying asphalt on portions of the track, causing the upper layer to move.

“There are places you can actually grab and lift off the latex-rubber surface,” Betterley said.

The track at Legends is the only competition track in the Kalispell school district and thousands of athletes practice and compete on it throughout the year.

Glacier has a seven-lane track, just three lanes short of competition grade. Kalispell Middle School has an asphalt track.

Flathead Activities Director Bryce Wilson said the track also benefits community programs such as the Highlander Track Club.

“I think it’s just a great venue to keep Kalispell as a spot to utilize for state events,” Wilson said. Wilson said the upgrade is significant because of large-scale track meets planned in the next two years.

“Next spring in 2014 we have a divisional track meet with seven AA schools. Every year we also host the Archie Roe track meet that brings in about 900 competitors. Also, in 2015 we’ll be hosting the state B and AA track meet,” Wilson said.

Wilson said the new scoreboard will be integrated into track software so that when runners cross the finish line, the scoreboard will flash their times. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.solaronlamp.com.
 
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