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Debate lights up over new GHS scoreboard

October 5, 2018

GREENWICH — The new scoreboard at Greenwich High School is the newest source of controversy in a long-running legal dispute over the stadium, and it may lead to further litigation.

A neighbor living near Greenwich High School contends that the scoreboard at Cardinal Stadium, which has video and digital capabilities, is in violation of a court agreement.

Bill Effros said he was considering a “contempt motion,” related to litigation from 2003 that created a legal compromise that allowed the lights to be installed at the field, with restrictions on their use. The Greenwich Board of Education and the town administration have been in discussions in recent months over attempts to revise the settlement — in large part because of a new schedule at GHS that pushed practice and game times later into the afternoon. Town leaders decided against reopening the court case.

Effros contended that the new scoreboard violates the terms of the legal settlement.

“Someone has erected a lighted sign adjacent to the Post Road in a residential zone, without notice or permits, on property owned by the Town of Greenwich (Greenwich High School) in violation of town regulations and the stipulation and order of judgment... If the town fails to have the lighted sign removed, I will file a contempt motion in Stamford Superior Court asking the court to order the town to remove it,” he wrote in an email.

The scoreboard is in violation, pursuant to the terms of the deal that was approved by the court, Effros said, citing passages from the court case that he said buttressed his argument.

The school district says the new sign is comparable to what other schools in the region are using, and said it is used in a limited capacity.

“There are quite a few schools now with video boards,” Greenwich High Athletic Director Gus Lindine said.

Without addressing the specific legal and zoning issues, Lindine said the scoreboard display was restricted.

“The video portion of the scoreboard usually has a cardinal head on the screen, a flag is shown during the National Anthem,” he said.

”The only time we have ‘live streaming’ on the board is during varsity football games. There is no audio, only a short horn to end periods,” Lindine said.

The new scoreboard was installed in early April. The $110,900 sign was the gift of the Greenwich Athletic Foundation. The school board accepted the donation unanimously in June.

In presenting the donation, the Greenwich Athletic Foundation sent a statement to the board: “The scoreboard will be a great upgrade to the Cardinal Stadium facilities as well as a testament to the continuing effort the community has committed to support the Town of Greenwich’s athletes.”

Effros had earlier expressed his opposition to the new sign to the school board.

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