When the EDSS football teams kicked off the season with home games Sept. 25, they hoped fans would be able to see the score of the game blazoned across a new state-of-the-art scoreboard.
But five weeks later, the scoreboard is still just three posts in the ground, and it will likely be some time before it is up and running.
The scoreboard is located at the northwest corner of the football field, adjacent to the Woolwich Memorial Centre. That puts it on township property, and the township wants it moved.
“It’s not located where the original site plan said it was going to be located, it’s a sign that has virtually nothing to do with the township, and it frankly doesn’t need to be on township property,” said Larry Devitt, director of recreation and facilities.
The original site plan showed the sign located along the west side of the field, not the corner, Devitt said.
The north end of the school track sits on township property, something that was negotiated when the township and school board purchased those properties five or six years ago. It was clear at the time that there wasn’t room for a full track, so the two parties negotiated an agreement with intent to allow encroachment.
Devitt said the township wasn’t aware the sign was going to be on township property until the posts went in the ground in mid-September.
“There was no prior communication to locating the sign there. It just started going up one day,” he said.
The township also wasn’t thrilled about the sign being in the sightlines of the new pool, Devitt said.
“I’m still trying to picture it, a 24-by-14-foot sign pretty much smack in front of the windows … I can imagine what it’s going to look like, because we’re looking at the back side of it.”
Township staff discussed the matter and decided they would not allow the sign to remain where it was.
“Because of the number of issues we’ve just said it’s easier if you remove it and replace it on school board property,” Devitt said.
The scoreboard was a joint purchase between the school’s football program and the Elmira Lions Club. The football program holds an annual golf tournament in June, and the Lions agreed to match the funds raised at this year’s event.
The wireless scoreboard is 24 feet wide and 14 feet high, with the words “Home of the Lancers” across the top. From where it is now, it will have to move about 21 feet in total to be on school board property.
“Now the company has to dig it all back up, re-cement everything, put it all back in. It’s a bit of a nightmare,” said football coach Steve Karn.
“It’s going to cost us probably $9,000 to do everything, so we’re not too happy. Now we may be waiting a long time because we’re going to have to fundraiser again to get the money to do it. It’s pretty frustrating.”
Rob Seeley, sites foreman for the Waterloo Region District School Board, said the school board will abide by the township’s wishes.
“What can we do? It’s their property. It shouldn’t have been put there in the first place, and now we have to move it.”