Board accepts Hall
Propane's sponsorship
 
By Nancy Lindsey
The Patrick County School Board voted 4-1 Sept. 11 to accept a proposal by Hall Propane to donate $24,000 to the Patrick County High School Athletic Boosters in exchange for sponsorship signage for 10 years.
"This will be a good partnership for the schools for 10 years," said Kirk Renegar, assistant principal and athletic director at PCHS, who announced the company's proposal at the July 17 board meeting.
Under the agreement proposed by Hall Propane, the company will provide the Athletic Boosters with $15,000 on Oct. 1 and then donate $1,000 each Oct. 1 for nine additional years.
In return, Hall Propane will design and place two logos near half court of the main gym at PCHS, attend "a special game" for girls' basketball, boys' basketball, and volleyball, and tell the fans, "thanks for allowing us to support this proud Patrick County community."
According to the proposal, Hall Propane plans to install a 4' x 8' metal banner at the front gate of the football field and a 2' x 2' metal banner at the side main gate or fence next to the entrance.
PCHS will "allow Hall Propane to come to either the game against Bassett or homecoming to say a quick 'thanks for allowing us to support this proud Patrick County community' and do the flip."
The company will also be allowed to set up a tent at the same game.
At the softball field, Hall Propane will have an advertisement of at least 4' X 8' above the concession stand area; install a sign in center field that says "hit it here" with a bull's eye and a Hall Propane logo; and attend a game to thank the community.
The grill cylinders at the current concession stand at the baseball field already have a Hall Propane logo, the company's proposal states, and there will be a new advertisement of at least 4' x 4' above the window.
There will also be a sign in left field that says "hit it here" with a bull's eye and a Hall Propane logo, and the company wants to attend a game and thank the "proud Patrick County community."
In addition, the company's proposal says, "if PCHS wins a home game of any sport the next day we will do $10 grill fill-ups."
Dan River District board member Kandy Burnett said she had some concerns about the plan, including the possibility of the company going out of business, whether there are any Title IX violations because the proposal deals with more boys' sports than girls' sports, the aesthetics of changing the gym floor, and the sports that are left out, such as cheerleading, wrestling, cross-country, tennis and golf.
Renegar said the money will go to the Athletic Boosters' general fund, and "all sports will benefit."
Mayo River District board member Michelle Day, vice chairman, said she had gotten some feedback from people opposed to the idea. Some are "appalled" that company logos will be put on the gym floor, she said.
"It's the tackiest thing I can think of," Burnett said.
Renegar said sponsorships are used in professional and college sports and the school can be "creative with our sponsorship opportunities."
It's unusual for a company to give a school a lump sum at the beginning, he added.
Peters Creek District board member Annie Hylton said she could go along with the idea "as long as we're not ostracizing other companies."
"I know the Athletic Boosters do a lot for the school," Hylton said.
"We're not trying to make Hall our exclusive provider," Renegar said.
Burnett said the gym floor would "belong to Hall Propane" for the next 10 years.
Blue Ridge District board member Ronnie Terry said if the company wants to help, "let them do it." He said the floor can be repainted, if necessary, at a lower amount than the sponsorship will provide.
Smith River District board member J.D. Morse, board chairman, said he sees the sponsorship as an opportunity to invite other companies to support sports programs.
Terry made the motion to approve the offer from Hall Propane, with Hylton seconding the motion.
Burnett cast the only dissenting vote.
In other matters at the Sept. 11 school board meeting:
*The board voted to hold the October, November and December meetings on the second Thursday of each month at the school board office. Meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m.
*The board voted unanimously to approve the list of gifted committee members, the division annual plan progress report, the annual school plan improvement reports, and the new superintendent evaluation form.
*Following a closed session to discuss personnel, the board accepted the resignation of Todd Purdham as health and physical education teacher at Hardin Reynolds Memorial School; approved the appointment of Justin Adams as a volunteer cross-country coach at PCHS; and accepted the retirement of Joyce Conner as a school bus driver.
The board also approved the hiring of Judy Paul as a cafeteria worker at PCHS and John Smith as a teacher assistant at Blue Ridge Elementary School.