May 1, 2009


McGraw installs high school scoreboard

School booster club, superintendent work out disagreement over installation

McGrawBob Ellis/staff photographer
The new McGraw High School baseball scoreboard looms over McGraw right fielder Kyle Tuttle who awaits a pitch.

Staff Reporter

McGRAW — The McGraw High School baseball field has a scoreboard, installed just beyond the right-field fence.
Superintendent of Schools Maria Fragnoli-Ryan and the McGraw Booster Club, which purchased the scoreboard, have disagreed about the cost and process of installation for the project the past month.
District maintenance staff installed the scoreboard with help from CNY Power Sports owner David Law, who donated the use of excavation equipment. Fragnoli-Ryan said the staff spent about 30 hours installing the scoreboard, finishing the task April 24.
Using district staff lowered the cost of installation to $700 in supplies, which will be paid by the booster club, she said.
The scoreboard is being powered temporarily through an extension cord plugged into a nearby district maintenance building.
The booster club and the varsity baseball team have been raising money to fund an underground conduit that would carry electricity. A community member who works as an electrician will install the conduit, replacing the extension cord.
Fragnoli-Ryan said at the Board of Education’s April 2 meeting that the district maintenance director received a request from the booster club for $2,000 for installation. She said she would not pay it because there was no money in the 2008-09 budget for such a thing.
Her statement angered Booster Club President Cheryl Kenyon, who responded in a statement read at the April 20 school board meeting that the request was actually an estimate, mailed by mistake to the district. Kenyon said the estimate was for $1,150, not $2,000.
“The Booster Club never went to Ms. Fragnoli-Ryan to request funds,” she said in the statement.
Manufactured by Whitesboro-based Eversan, the scoreboard measures 7 feet long, 3 feet wide and 6 inches deep. It weighs 85 pounds and is mounted on two steel posts about 15 feet high.
It shows orange numbers on a black background, for strikes, balls, outs, runs scored and inning.
Eversan sells this model for $2,195 plus another $975 if the customer wants to operate it using a wireless method.
McGraw chose the wireless option. A student operates the scoreboard via a control panel with an antenna, from the McGraw dugout.
Baseball coach Abe Johnson said he was pleased to have it, since there was no scoreboard before. He said the baseball field has slowly been improved over the past few years.
“This used to be a soccer field that they played baseball on,” he said.
Johnson said the field’s turf has been improved and its dugouts were installed two years ago.
“The baseball players are raising money to pay for the electrical conduit,” Johnson said. “They had a chicken barbecue last weekend at CountryMax in Cortland. I regard this whole thing as a community effort.”
Fragnoli-Ryan said she did not know the scoreboard had been purchased, when the estimate arrived. She said the miscommunication between her and the Booster Club was unfortunate.
“I certainly support athletics,” she said.


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