New scoreboard will light up the nights for high school football in Millard

A rendering of what the scoreboard could look like was to be presented to the Omaha Planning Board on Wednesday.

A new scoreboard with a big video screen is on the way for Millard South’s Buell Stadium, where Millard North, Millard West and Millard South play their home football games.

It will replace an old scoreboard and offer Millard Public Schools students education and experience in creating big-screen graphics and videos.

Private donations to the Millard Public Schools Foundation are paying for the scoreboard, which will cost about $400,000. The school district went to the City of Omaha Planning Board on Wednesday for a permit amendment to allow the scoreboard. It’s expected to be installed this summer.

The scoreboard would be 49 feet high. That exceeds the maximum height of 35 feet for the area. The Planning Board voted 6-0 Wednesday to approve a waiver of the height restriction. Mike Pate abstained because he’s on the Millard school board.

It’s part of a series of improvements planned to address safety, comfort and access issues at the 1960s-era stadium at 147th and Q Streets. Located at Millard South, the stadium also hosts soccer, band competitions, club lacrosse, track and community youth sports.

The Millard Public Schools Foundation is raising private money for the stadium improvements, which could cost up to $10 million.

The first project was stabilizing bleachers on the west side of the field.

A new scoreboard moved up the list of improvements because of problems with the old one, said Angelo Passarelli, executive director of the foundation. It broke down twice during games last year.

A school district spokeswoman, Rebecca Kleeman, said no one’s sure how old the current scoreboard is, but it’s failing. The district had to bring in temporary scoreboards for games twice last fall, she said.

Beyond the fan and athlete experience, the upgrade in technology offers educational opportunities for Millard students.

“Students can design videos and graphics and show them on the video boards,” Kleeman said.

Passarelli called those “marketable skills.” He said students are already applying them in Millard.

“We’ve gone to these video boards at our basketball gyms,” he said. “This is kind of the same thing, only on a bigger scale.”

The video board will be about 29 feet by 34 feet, according to Planning Board documents. The new scoreboard will be erected on the north side of the stadium. The old scoreboard, on the south end, will be removed.

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Chris Burbach covers the Douglas County Board, Planning Board and other local government bodies, as well as local neighborhood issues. Follow him on Twitter @chrisburbach. Phone: 402-444-1057.

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