Refurbishing the massive football scoreboard Jenkins High School acquired from Eastern Washington University this summer, and engineering it to make sure it is adequately supported, has taken the collaboration of many local contractors – comparable to the people necessary for a residential house remodel.
The scoreboard will be installed this spring at Snyder Field in preparation for the upcoming 2013 football season. It is more than a third larger than the current display, measuring 34 feet wide and 18 feet high, and includes an electronic reader board attached underneath.
“It’s true Friday night lights,” Mike Bellevue of Bellevue General Contractors said. “Now you will really know who’s winning.”
Bellevue said it took four adults plus 10 football players to move the scoreboard off the field onto a trailer and into the shop at the former Skok’s Farm and Feed store where local contractors have been working on it since.
The board was originally transported in four sections from EWU.
Bellevue said it was first believed that it would take a truck and a half of concrete for each pole that will support the board because it is so big, but it will not need as much as original thought and they are still working out the details to make sure the structure is sound. Bellevue said they plan to get at least the poles installed soon while the water table is low and the ground is still frozen. The board will but put up in the same place as the existing board.
Although he is not the general contractor on the project, Bellevue said he has helped make the connections with other local contractors as there are so many different components for restoration and installation.
Bellevue’s crew from Chewelah Painting refinished and repainted the sign to turn it from bright Eagle red to Cougar navy; Stickit Signs replaced the lettering and decals, Architect Tom Bristol of Purple Flat Top was consulted on the project for engineering and also tested soil samples, and Chewelah Welding has helped with the metal and steel components.
In addition, the newer model of board will be cheaper to power because of energy efficient upgrades, Bellevue said. The board uses 320 light bulbs that can be replaced like regular bulbs. Brandon Hartill of Eagle Mountain Electric has been working on the electric parts of the project.
When Athletic Director Lonnie Hoxie learned the EWU Eagles were replacing their own scoreboard in Summer 2012, he immediately contacted their athletic director and worked it out so they could be gifted the board as long as they paid for transportation to Chewelah and took away any EWU identification.
However, Hoxie said he did not expect the work to be so extensive for the board, which has cost over $9,000 so far. Nevertheless, he said it is much less expensive than buying a brand new scoreboard and believes it is nice that they were able to get one from a local college in a model that is 15 years newer. The older one is from the 1970s and needed some work, he said, although it was still useable.
The school district is currently looking for donations to help pay for construction costs and those donors will get advertising for their contribution.
In the summer of 2012, Chewelah Painting was also hired to repaint the Snyder Field bleachers, crow’s nest, and concession area Navy and White to gave the Snyder Field a facelift before the first 2012 game. The crow’s nest was also stabilized in addition to other improvements.
“The new scoreboard goes along with the beautification of the whole field,” Hoxie said.
Bellevue said this project is good momentum for the community as it is a football field “the whole town can see.” It is something everyone is able to enjoy and sports encourage kids to stay active and create a positive atmosphere for Chewelah, he said, especially following the league championship this past season.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff
In this Photo: The former EWU football scoreboard has received a complete makeover with fresh blue paint, letters and lighting. Mike Bellevue photo.