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Chairman of the (Score) Board

By Staff | Nov 16, 2014

The Blue Earth School Board recently authorized spending just shy of $30,000 for new scoreboards at both Wilson Field and the high school gymnasium.

Last Monday the board received a surprising announcement from School Board chairman Frankie Bly.

He and his family were making a donation to the school which will cover the cost of the two new scoreboards in the gym.

That comes out to be a gift of $12,436 to BEA schools.

“My family and I are making this donation in memory of my son, Jared Bly,” the board chairman said. “We have been giving a scholarship each year, but we were looking for a place to make a donation to the school as well.”

Bly said his son loved basketball and sports and so the family thought this was a good way to honor his memory. In fact, the bottom of the main scoreboard in the gym says it is a gift in his memory.

Bly said the day before Monday’s meeting, Nov. 9, was the eighth anniversary of his son, Jared’s, death. Jared Bly was 27 when he passed away after a courageous struggle with cancer.

Superintendent Evan Gough acknowledged the gift at the meeting, and thanked the Bly family for their generosity.

The School Board voted unanimously to accept the donation and also thanked the board chairman.

The new scoreboards were installed at the end of summer and have actually been in use for the fall sports season.

“People still call this (the high school) the “new” building,” BEA activities director Rob Norman says. “But, the truth is, the high school is 20 years old and so were the scoreboards in the gym. It was time for an upgrade.”

The old scoreboards were not tossed out, however. Norman had them moved to Pemberton Auditorium at the BEA Middle School.

“One of the problems we were having is that parts for the old scoreboards were not being made anymore,” Norman says. “So I have these scoreboard people out scouring for any and all parts they can find, and we will stockpile them.”

While the gym scoreboards were 20 years old, the one at the football field was even older.

“I remember that scoreboard being installed the first year I came to Blue Earth to teach,” Bly recalls. “That was in 1969. So, we were long overdue for an upgrade there.”

The cost of the basic scoreboard unit for the football and track field was $9,734. But, with all the additional expenses for extras, installation, training and shipping, the total was $16,995.

The basic cost of the two gymnasium scoreboards was $3,667 each. However, the final total with all the extras came to $12,436.

The tally for all three came to a grand total of $29,931. That included a $500 cost to install the old gym scoreboards into Pemberton Hall.

“We looked at getting the scoreboards for the gym that have the side panels with individual players points and fouls,” Norman said. “But after some discussions we decided not to go that route.”

The activities director says they should be set for scoreboards for the next 20 years now.

“Unless we have to buy some shot clocks for basketball if that ever comes to the high school level,” Norman says. “I sure hope it doesn’t.”