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Brownwood ISD gets pushback for cost of new scoreboard

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BROWNWODO, Texas - The Brownwood Independent School District is playing defense after deciding to spend a half-million dollars on a new scoreboard for Gordon Wood Stadium.

The district has received criticism on social media about why the money isn't being invested in classrooms. But Brownwood ISD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Hector Martinez told KTXS the school has a $26 million budget with $20 million going to instructional programs.

"Instructional programs in our school district is number one, and this is not going to impact our current budget that we have for this year, and it will not impact future budgets," Martinez said Thursday.

The district's board of trustees unanimously approved on Monday paying Daktronics $499,413 to upgrade their scoreboard, which will include an 18 by 33 feet video display.

The current scoreboard is 22 years old and is in such a bad shape that an electrician attends every home game since it tends to break down often, according to Brownwood ISD Superintendent Dr. Joe Young.

Martinez said the money for the new equipment is coming from the school's $5.7 million reserve fund. The district will consider corporate sponsors down the road to recoup some of the money spent.

Mikka Gregory has two sons who played football for Brownwood High School. One of them graduated last year, and the other is a freshman who was picked to play in the varsity team.

"When you talk about Brownwood to anybody in the state of Texas - Brownwood is football," Gregory said.

When Gregory learned of the board's decision, she was ecstatic.

"This is the best thing that can be happening to Brownwood in terms of athletics," she said. "It's been a long time coming."

Other residents think the money could be put to better use.

"Maybe, I don't know, give all the teachers raises," said Dano Dunham. He graduated from Brownwood High School in 1997. "That would be a good way to invest $500,000, I think a better way."

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