FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon High School’s $609,000 turf field will bear the name of a local hospital system.
Mt. Vernon Community School Corp. and Hancock Health announced Thursday the high school’s turf football field will be named “Hancock Health Stadium.” The 10-year commitment between the school and healthcare business also includes two digital LED video scoreboards that will be installed in the main high school gym in September, according to a news release. In addition, Hancock Health signage will be placed throughout the district’s athletic facilities, according to a news release.
“We are thrilled and proud of our partnership with the Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation,” said Hancock Health CEO Steve Long in a news release. “This collaborative effort with MVCSC allows us to continue our mission of healing, improving health and wellness, alleviating suffering, and delivering acts of kindness one person at a time directly to the Mt. Vernon families and staff.”
The sponsorship will provide the district with between $250,000 and $275,000 over the 10-year span, said Hancock Health marketing director Jenn Cox. The company is working to help the district find replacement units for its automated external defibrillators, and also is helping to provide speakers on pertinent health topics for high school health classes, Cox said.
“We didn’t just want to be a logo on a scoreboard, we wanted it to be a true partnership to benefit all of us,” she said. “Hopefully it will help us keep the community healthy as well.”
Hancock Health comprises Hancock Regional Hospital, the Hancock Wellness Centers in Greenfield and McCordsville, and Hancock Physicians Network offices throughout Hancock County. The health system has also announced plans for a low-cost lab facility near the intersection of County Roads 600W and 200N as well as a physicians office and wellness center in New Palestine.
This is the first time Mt. Vernon High School has entered into a sponsorship agreement of this magnitude, said principal Greg Roach.
“I think it’s a great sponsorship,” he said. “It’s a community outreach for them, and the benefit for us is it helps fund some of our needs at the high school.”
In February 2017, then-Superintendent Shane Robbins told the school board he hoped to fund the sports field through corporate sponsorship instead of asking for corporation funding to pay for the project, according to Daily Reporter archives.
Robbins said converting the football field to turf will allow the corporation to save on maintenance costs while generating income for the district by hosting various contests at the facilities, including marching band contests. He estimated the district will save about $100,000 in maintenance costs over the next 10 years, the lifetime of the turf field’s warranty.
Three of the four public high schools in the county have now made the switch to turf fields, according to Daily Reporter archives.
Shannon Walls, Mt. Vernon school board president, said in a news release the agreement is exciting and advantageous for Mt. Vernon schools.
“Our initiatives for our students and their goals for the community are well aligned, as we both seek mentally and physically healthy students and staff,” she said in a news release. “This partnership with Hancock Health is greatly appreciated and provides the support our schools need to continue our academic excellence.”
Future recognition ceremonies to open the new scoreboards in the MVHS main gym are scheduled for Sept. 20 at the Mt. Vernon High School Volleyball game, and Dec. 1 at the Mt. Vernon High School Boys Basketball game, according to a news release.