Brown Elementary to upgrade sign to electronic display

At Margaret R. Brown Elementary School, information is shared with students and their families via a sign out front of the building at 550 Miller Lane in Seymour.

But after 42 years, that sign is falling apart and doesn’t meet the school’s multilingual needs.

“We feel it is time to replace it,” said Principal Tony Hack.

Instead of going with the same kind of sign, where the letters have to be changed manually by a staff member or student, the school is investing $20,000 in an electronic sign from Green Sign Co. of Greensburg.

Hack presented several options and quotes for repairing the existing sign or replacing it to school board trustees at their Feb. 14 meeting. The board approved Hack’s recommendation of going with the electronic display sign from Green Sign.

Although it was the highest of three quotes received, Hack said there are several Seymour businesses that have used the company before and he feels they will provide a quality product. Their cost also included all permit work, whereas the other two did not, he said.

Others quotes were $14,002 from Signs Plus of Florida and $16,623 from Johnny Signs out of Bedford.

The sign will be paid for with construction funds left over from Brown’s recent interior renovation project.

Hack said the electronic display will allow the school to share information in English and up to nine other languages, which is important because nearly 50 percent of Brown’s student population do not speak English as their primary language.

Also, between 75 and 80 percent of students live within walking distance of the school.

Although an outdoor sign may not be as important at other schools, Hack said at Brown, it is used daily to communicate with parents, provide reminders to students of important dates, promote school and community activities, recognize staff, students and Brown supporters and other uses.

“It’s a major source of communication for us,” he said. “The ability to notify our families in their native language of celebrations, community activities, weather delays and closings or of other emergency situations is of the upmost importance.”