“Thank you” was one of the first messages to flash across the new digital marquee at Clarksburg High School during a ceremony to unveil the 9-foot tall structure on Friday.
The $31,000 marquee, purchased through donations, was installed at the school, 22500 Wims Road, two weeks ago.
“I think the community will enjoy the greater visibility of the school,” Principal James P. Koutsos said. “Hopefully when they are driving on [Md. 355] they can take a peak at what’s going on at Clarksburg High School.”
Construction was completed on Aug. 28 with the installation of a full-color digital board. At the bottom of the board is the school’s motto — “leadership, scholarship and relationship.”
“Everybody is excited,” said Jeffrey Sullivan, the high school’s athletic director. “I’ve seen a few bus drivers pausing for a few seconds to look at it [when passing by].”
Montgomery County Board of Education member Michael Durso and Frank Chiaramonte, who lives in Boyds and donated the masonry work for the project, were among those who cut the ribbon Friday during the ceremony to unveil the marquee. The event was staged before the high school football team’s first home game of the season against Walter Johnson High School.
Clarksburg High lost to Walter Johnson, 13-12.
“I just love the fact that so many groups in our community came together to ensure that we had the best,” Koutsos said of the marquee. “It really says a lot about who we are at Clarksburg.”
“Generally a high school is a hub of a community so you need something like [the marquee],” said Sharon St. Pierre, an aide to Montgomery County Councilman Craig L. Rice (D-Dist. 2) of Germantown. “It’s such a symbolic thing. It’s so perfect for Clarksburg how this came about.”
Rice was invited to the ceremony but was detained while traveling home from a trip, Pierre said.
Last year, school officials decided to install the sign after receiving requests for it from community members. Since then a series of fundraisers organized by community and school groups have helped to pay for the project, including a brick fundraising program organized by the school.
For $50 to $100, students and community members were able to buy an engraved brick that was placed in the new entrance of the Coyote Canyon stadium. During the ceremony the new Coyote Pride walkway also was unveiled to the public.
The current walkway is made up of about 150 engraved bricks from the fundraiser. The program, which was closed in June, was reopened Sept. 8 to give community members another chance to buy one of the more than 2,000 bricks left available for purchase.
“The orders are flying in,” Sullivan said. “It’s great.”
Since it reopened, Sullivan said, the school fundraising program has received about 25 orders for bricks. The program will run through Oct. 8. Those interested in buying a brick can go to the school’s website at www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/clarksburghs.