May 21st, 2008

Hamburg Offering Naming Rights

By Michelle Park
Reading Eagle

The school board agrees that companies can sponsor district facilities for a price.

The Hamburg School District will offer naming rights to school facilities to raise revenue.

“Money is really tight, and this would be a way to get some extra money,” said school board member Stanley R. Snyder. “Other schools are doing that, too.”

The school board voted unanimously Monday to make naming rights available for a fee to companies and individuals.

Facilities that could be named include athletic fields, libraries, gymnasiums and other rooms within school buildings.

The Wilson School District has offered naming rights for about a year and has secured contributions totaling more than $100,000 from the U.S. Army and Discovery Federal Credit Union to use their names on a weight room and the high school gymnasium.

Hamburgís decision comes two weeks after the board agreed to a preliminary budget for 2008-09 that would raise property taxes by 4 percent.

District Business Manager Stuart C. Whiteleather has said the budget reflects increased costs for fuel, textbooks and the replacement of one-third of the districtís computers.

Naming proposals would have to clear a committee consisting of administrators, board members and the principal of the building involved, said board Vice President Brian R. Specht.

The full school board would have the final say.

Asked about advertisements potentially appearing on walls in Hamburg schools, Snyder said he didnít think it would pose a problem.

“The students are exposed to so much now already, I donít think this will be a factor,” he said, referring to the vast number of television and Internet ads kids see every day. “Will this really affect them? Iím not sure it will.”

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