MCALLEN, RGV – McAllen ISD school board president Conrado Alvarado believes there is going to be great excitement in the community when the naming rights are announced for the new athletics stadium scoreboard.

Speaking to McAllen Economic Development Corporation’s board of directors, Alvarado was quick to point out that no school district dollars are being spent on the scoreboard.

Conrado Alvarado
Conrado Alvarado

“I am a little bit hesitant to bring this up but it is going to come out. I want you to hear it from me,” Alvarado told the MEDC board. “We are going to invest in our stadium with our scoreboard. It is going to be significant. The investment is $900,000 but it is not coming out of our money or our fund balance. It has not been the focus of our administration. It has been the focus of a couple of board members and the team.”

The MEDC meeting took place on Thursday. Alvarado said he signed the contract for the scoreboard sponsorship on Wednesday.

“We are going to talk about it next week. I just signed the contracts yesterday but I do not think it is appropriate for me to release the name of the sponsor but we got sponsors that came forward and are going to pay for it. We have a five-year interest-free loan. We have already collected funds in cash for the first two years. We are going to be way ahead,” Alvarado said.

“We think it is going to add to the stadium and help us attract other identities. I know UTRGV is doing a football team. We are very excited about the company that is going to partner with us on the naming rights. It is so exciting, once we release that name. It is going to be a good thing for us. People have asked me, what are we doing spending money on a scoreboard. We are not. It is coming out of sponsorship money.”

Alvarado also reported on McAllen ISD’s search for a new superintendent. James Ponce announced his resignation as superintendent in February. Associate superintendent Jose Gonzalez has been appointed interim for six months. “We have our interim in place but we are doing a national search. We hope to have somebody in place by late July or early August,” Alvarado said. “If you know of any potential candidates or anybody out there that you want us to take a look at, please reach out to the board members. We do have a search firm. We will forward that name to the search firm and try to engage that person.”

Alvarado also spoke about a community outreach project that is currently underway to secure feedback on which direction McAllen ISD should take. The project is being overseen by Texas-based Engage2learn.

“We selected a firm, Engage2learn. It is going to help us shape our five-year plan. We want to get feedback on the direction of the school district,” Alvarado said, pointing out that 150 people attended the first forum, held at South Texas College. Two other forums were held on the same day as the MEDC meeting.

Alvarado told Keith Patridge, president of the McAllen EDC, that a better job will be done in securing the input of the McAllen business community for the outreach project.

“We will be reaching out to the business community. It probably was not communicated well to you, Keith, but that was our intention. So, I apologize to you for that. They (Engage2learn) are going to come out and engage you; try to do a business forum or a lunch. We gave them names of particular people we want to see: yourself, the Chamber, the Mayor, the city commissioners. We are going to reach out to different people to help shape our goals for the next five years,” Alvarado added.