New sign will cost AASD $48,000

Electronic message board at 17th Street to be replaced

By Russ O’Reilly

The Altoona Area School Board is set to vote Aug. 13 on purchasing a new electronic sign at 17th Street for $48,811.

The current sign is beyond its economic and useful life, the technology is dated, and it is difficult to find parts, Assistant Business Manager Susan Anderson said.

The district would finance the sign through a 10-year sponsorship deal for $4,000 annually. That would cover all but $8,000. However, the district would have to pay the cost of the sign up front and wait 10 years to recover most of the money.

“Why do we need this sign?” board member Sharon Bream asked during a Monday evening work session in preparation for the August voting meeting.

Superintendent Charles Prijatelj said the district uses it to advertise student plays, concerts and sporting events, as well as names of donors to the district foundation.

Board member Dave Francis said he would support it because the sign displays students’ academic and athletic achievements.

“I think the sign is worth every penny for that aspect,” he said. “For students to see their accomplishments up there is a feather in their cap.”

The district received four bids for the sign. The recommended bid is from Blair Companies at $48,811. Image Signs submitted a bid at $55,280, Daktronics at $67,000 and Fast Signs at $99,322.