Mt. Vernon Register-News

January 16, 2014

MVTHS holds naming catalog until spring

By TRAVIS MORSE travis.morse@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Naming rights for the new proposed Mt. Vernon Township High School will still be offered, but the catalog advertising those opportunities likely won’t be released until the spring.

MVTHS officials had hoped to roll out the catalog this month, but that plan changed after the construction bids came in $6 million over-budget in December.

Since that time, district consultants and the MVTHS Board of Education have been looking at ways to reduce the cost of the new school project. So far, about $4 million in reductions have been proposed.

Superintendent Michael Smith said the naming catalog will be released once firm numbers are available for the construction.

“We had to put that on hold and we’ll

go back when we get hard numbers,” Smith said. “We have to get contractual prices, how much it’s going to cost.”

Smith said he wants to avoid a situation where people start donating to the project and then the costs change.

MVTHS officials say the new high school will offer more than 60 naming opportunities for local companies, groups and individuals.

These opportunities will vary in size and cost. The cost range has been estimated at $150 to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the item.

Naming rights will likely be available for smaller items like benches and trees, or for larger parts of the campus like the gymnasium and the football field.

So far, the only portion of the campus to be officially named is the theater. The Schweinfurth Foundation was granted lifetime naming rights for the theater in June.

Fundraising has begun in earnest for an expanded greenhouse planned for the new school.

Organizers hope to raise $50,000 to $75,000 for the effort. So far, $7,000 has been collected from contributions made by Farm Credit Services, Adams Farms Inc., and Beau Brehm Farms.

“I’m excited,” said John Kabat, MVTHS agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. “I think we can get (to the goal) by the end of the year possibly.”

MVTHS officials do not have an overall fundraising goal for the new campus naming rights. Still, given the many opportunities available, Smith said he hopes significant revenue can be raised.

“There will be a number of opportunities for people to be involved and leave their mark and contribution to the process,” Smith said. “We’d hope that people will avail themselves when (the catalog) is released.”