The new marquee at the entrance to Aptos High School may be hard to miss but how it came to be is not so obvious. The Aptos Sports Foundation says the nearly $100,000 project for the state-of-the-art digital signage is a blueprint for many future improvement projects at Aptos public schools without spending one cent of district member tax money.
The idea for a marquee at the corner of Freedom Boulevard and Mariner Way has been years in the making, but once pencil was put to paper, dedicated community members made it a reality in one year.
One of the major challenges with the project had always been access to power at the site, or lack thereof. Aptos Sports Foundation board member, John Marinovich spearheaded the project and worked closely with the Pajaro Valley Unified School District Maintenance, Operations and Facilities Department, a structural engineer and eventually with the Division of State Architects to get the plans approved.
Marinovich also donated more than 100 hours of his time and expertise on the project. To complete the project and address the need for electricity to run the marquee, Bailey Construction donated services and equipment for the trench run to connect to the power supply at Freedom Field. [That multi-purpose field, another Aptos Sports Foundation project, was completed in 2016].
The video board will feature content posted by school site staff including information about upcoming sports, performing arts, activities, and college and career readiness events. In the future there will be opportunities for students interested in graphic design, photography, and video production to create content.
According to Aptos High Associated Student Body President, Senior Logan Chamberlain, “this project is an all-inclusive addition to our school that highlights the best and most amazing parts of Aptos High including academics, activities, athletics, and the arts.”
The marquee can also be used for emergency announcements or crisis information.
Aptos Sports Foundation President, Paul Bailey, believes the unique private/public partnership forged by the Foundation and the PVUSD is the reason the marquee project was successful. “This is a unique relationship in the state of California based on integrity and historical success,” said Bailey.
PVUSD did not have the money to spend on the sign or installation, but with its cooperation and ultimate approval along the way, ASF was able to do the marquee design, engineering, state approval, and installation all fully funded with community donations.
Principal Peggy Pughe says the sign will allow the school to publicize a variety of events to a wider audience, “Aptos High School is the heart of the Aptos community. We want to welcome our community to attend our events and now, with this amazing gift from the Aptos Sports Foundation, our Mariner athletes and performers look forward to increased participation at all of our public events. As you drive on to campus, you now know you are entering a school that supports its students and that is supported by our community.”
The Aptos Sports Foundation is working toward the development of an Endowment Fund that as a community asset, will fund athletic programs in the Aptos community, making them competitive with the best private school programs in Northern California. The Foundation goal is to raise five million dollars within 10 years to fund the Endowment.