BRADENTON -- Manatee High School supporters can move forward with plans to install a Jumbotron video screen at Hawkins Stadium after receiving the final blessing Tuesday from the Manatee County School Board.
The plan by Manatee Broadcasters was approved by 3-1 vote by the school board, which will not be responsible for any project costs. Board members praised the quick work and dedication of the boosters.
"We have to recognize they put a great deal of work into this proposal. It represents the dreams of many people," board member Dave Miner said.
The money will come from sponsors and supporters.
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Although he said he supported the project, Miner was the lone no vote, saying the vote should be postponed until details are worked out on how revenue from the video screen will benefit students. Bob Gause, Karen Carpenter and Charlie Kennedy approved the plan.
The board also approved a settlement in a lawsuit related to the Roderick Frazier case, approved renaming the district television station and heard from a concerned citizen who said the board needs a referee.
EDVTV was formally renamed Manatee Schools Television to fall in line with strategic goals approved by the district last year. MSTV broadcasts school board meetings live, creates packages on district programs and provides support to district schools.
The video screen is expected to be operational for the second home football game Oct. 9, organizers said. NDC Construction Co. of Bradenton will perform the work for $235,000.
The project includes:
Installing the Jumbotron using a super structure with eight slots for advertisements;
Adding a super structure behind the existing scoreboard with spaces for ads to mirror the Jumbotron's setup; and
Updating to a Bose sound system to fix existing sound problems.
In other action, a former Manatee County student and her mother will receive $210,000 from the school district to settle a lawsuit related to the Roderick Frazier issue at Manatee High School, where the former parent liaison was accused of inappropriately touching students and staff. The lawsuit claimed the student brought complaints about Frazier to Manatee High School officials and the district. In the lawsuit, the student and a parent blame the district for Frazier's actions.
The settlement is not an acknowledgement of wrongdoing on the district's part. The settlement puts the issue to rest, said Erin Jackson, an outside lawyer who worked the case for the district.
"This is a good settlement for the district. It's the right decision for this district," she said.
The settlement was approved by a 4-0 vote.
After months of preaching "just be nice" to school board members, 83-year-old Bradenton resident Norm Nelson donned some new garb to strengthen his point.
Wearing a whistle around his neck and dressed in a black-and-white striped referee shirt, Nelson told board members they need to set a good example for the district they serve, which has more than 40,000 students.
"Your job is to educate children and to set an example," he said. "You shouldn't be the best TV show in the land."
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.