The Payson Schools Beautification Committee realized a four-year goal Friday when it put up a digital LED sign for the Payson Unified School District.
The completely paid-for $35,000, 8-by-5-foot sign stands just over 15 feet tall, on the corner of Meadow and Longhorn.
PUSD will use the sign to communicate school events, test dates, recognitions and urgent notices to parents and the community.
"So many times, kids come home from school and say to their parents, ‘by the way, I have a band concert tonight,'" said parent Dan Dillon.
Now, they will know beforehand.
"Safeway (via manager Dan Dillon and assistant manager Russ Youngcourt) has been a major contributor to school beautification every year," said beautification chair Tawnya Allaire. "Safeway contributed $9,000 this year and each year they have a golf tournament to support us."
On Friday, the sign had a test run, but there are a few bugs to be worked out of the electrical system.
"When it's working, it's great," said new PUSD superintendent Casey O'Brien. "The district would not have been able to do this without the Beautification Committee. We are thankful they've done this."
"Tawnya was really the driving force behind the sign. She's just a go-getter," said committee member Cari Day.
The goal of the committee is to create an environment that promotes learning and pride for students, faculty and the community. All its projects, such as the new sign, landscaping and cleanup, painting, new sidewalks and drainage corrections, all happen due to generous support from the community. Many area businesses and individuals give time, material and monetary donations.
"The community has just been awesome in their support of school beautification," said committee member Joanne Conlin.
"Over the years, the beautification committee has done a great job and the sign will be an addition that will be used by all the schools," said retired superintendent Sue Myers.
Between donations, labor and materials, the community has given $225,000 to the school district.
"The Payson Roundup was instrumental in fund-raising, too, with their hug ads," Day said. "If you see this person (that donated $1,000 or more) give them a hug."
Landscaping at the digital sign site is one of the committee's first priorities, including a stone veneer about 4 feet up the signpost. Then, they are looking at renovating the snack shop at the football field.
For more information, call (928) 970-1363.