The Great Oak High School Revitalization Committee made up of parents, teachers and students is looking to raise $160,000 to provide a digital video scoreboard and sound system for the stadium that is utilized for school sports and activities, recreational and youth sport programs and camps, graduation, band and cheer competitions and community events.
Although Great Oak opened in 2004 and is the newest of three comprehensive high schools in the Temecula Valley Unified School District, the committee is dedicated to maintaining the quality of the school’s facilities and equipment.
“We understand the district’s priority on upgrading the older campuses,” one of the committee’s founders Larry Ciullo said, “And some of our facility and equipment issues fall outside of the district’s current budgetary guidelines, so we are trying to do our part to help keep Great Oak great. We hope to help address some issues directly ourselves.”
Temecula Valley High School was the city’s first high school, opening in 1985 with 350 students and 17 teachers; it was part of the Elsinore Unified School District at that time. The campus now serves almost 3,000 students and facilities upgrades were needed. Recent upgrades to the original TVHS campus include a $23 million, 56,000 square foot gymnasium opened in August 2007 and a $14 million, state-of- the-art performing arts center opened in May 2013. More recently, a $23 million, 38,000 square foot science laboratory and classroom building and an 8,300 square foot culinary arts building was begun in June 2015, replacing numerous old semi-portable buildings.
Measure Y, a ballot initiative approved by 63 percent of Temecula voters in November 2012, provides $165 million to TVUSD from the issuance of a series of bonds over a period of 10 years. The first bonds, issued in February 2013, were budgeted to address the most critical needs of the district: health, safety, security, technology and enrollment growth. There have been a number of major projects undertaken by TVUSD at many of its 30 school campuses.
The first expenditures included new gates and door locks for security, a project to install campuswide Wi-Fi at all the schools, smart technology in classrooms, installing a broadcast system at TVHS, and upgrading stadium athletic fields and track surfaces at Chaparral and Temecula Valley high schools. Solar panels were added to 20 schools in 2014-15 as part of a $24 million energy initiative.
“Our projects are not on that scale and are not that high on the district’s priority list,” Ciullo said. “But for the parents, teachers and students who are here at Great Oak every day and the groups that use our facilities, it’s just as important to take care of our campus and its needs.”
The revitalization committee’s first project is replacing the scoreboard at the stadium.
“It has been in need of attention for a while,” Ciullo said. “It was designed as a football scoreboard and was meant to last 10 years. It is now 14-years-old. Bulbs are out, and it is hard to read and it goes out intermittently. Finding replacement parts is becoming an expensive – if not impossible – problem. Some of the parts are no longer being made. So we are looking to replace it with a high-tech system that will be more reliable, last longer and serve multiple needs.”
After extensive research, the committee has decided on a state-of- the-art video board. Fair-Play TL Vision video screens are becoming more popular at sports venues throughout the United States, much like Sony’s original Jumbotron system at professional stadiums and concert venues. The high-quality LED screen will use half the electricity of the current screw-in incandescent bulbs and will last for 20-25 years.
“We looked at more expensive boards, but chose this one for the value, reliability, complete hardware/software solution,” Ciullo said. “We can use the existing supports and wiring. This saves us $100,000 over a tear-out and reconstruction.”
The video board will be able to easily change scoreboard formats to accommodate multiple stadium sports including football, soccer and even track and field lane assignments, vault heights, throw distances and more. The fully wireless video server system is powerful yet fits in a small footprint in most press boxes.
Content can be wirelessly and instantly delivered to the high-definition screen via wireless HD cameras and wireless workstations and includes instant replay with slow motion, flexible zoning, audio playback and other programmable production features.
“It also adds to our curriculum,” Don Skaggs, Great Oak director of student activities, said, “Our career technical education department will be running it, and students will be learning multiple aspects of broadcasting – sports and other programs and events — that will provide us with professional-style productions and provide those students with valuable skills and experience.”
The system also provides for internet streaming, making it possible to view sporting events, graduations, band performances and homecoming events remotely. This option makes it possible for military parents overseas on deployment, parents on business travel, extended family and friends in other states, patients in hospitals, college recruiting coaches and others to share in the events via the internet.
“This adds a whole new dimension to keeping our students, parents and community connected,” Skaggs said. “Our Red Wave is known for its school spirit, and this just adds to that. I can already see kids going crazy seeing themselves on the big screen. We can also do movie nights and other activities and fundraising events.”
“The district has approved it, but can’t fund it,” Ciullo said. “So we will raise the money and donate the board to the school district.”
The revitalization committee has a three-pronged approach for funding the video scoreboard and sound system: donations from students and their families, donations from alumni and teachers and donations or advertising packages from businesses.
“We are offering some significant advertising packages for businesses,” Ciullo said. “There are great opportunities to have businesses advertised year-round at every varsity event in the stadium for the next five years. That is over 100,000 views per year to capture current and future clients. And that doesn’t count the views from internet streaming. This creates a win-win situation for the school and for businesses. Since we fall under a nonprofit 501(c) (3), the marketing expense may also be tax deductible.”
The digital board will be able to play actual video commercials and digital ads that can be changed weekly, seasonally or updated as needed for current promotions. Sponsor packages will include back-lit static signs and video advertising. The advertising opportunities will also allow teams to raise funds.