About a half-century ago when money was tight, Washington County built two high schools, one with an auditorium and one with an athletic field. Though North Hagerstown High School's community wanted a stadium of its own, the $4.1 million price tag was too high.
Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael said the Stadium Committee, a community group of the school's booster club and volunteers, solicited donations from individuals and companies, then worked with local officials to build the project.
After the $500,000 contribution was secured from the Michael G. Callas Charitable Trust, corporate donations came pouring in. The Mike Callas Stadium at North Hagerstown High School also has a donated field, scoreboard and a brick wall with plaques that showcase the names of individuals and companies that donated money. Even seats in the stadium are named after people.
Michael, who gave the presentation on naming rights to school facilities managers around the state at the conference in September, said the school board's OK is required to approve major donations. But small donations such as those for seats were accepted without a board vote.
When the county wanted to build a new magnet high school for the arts, Vincent Goh donated the building. The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts bears the name of his late wife, a county art teacher, and the rooms have also been named for donors.
Daley, the Maroon accountant, said school systems should give themselves options and flexibility when selling naming rights.
"Spell out what you are looking for," he said. "Each sponsorship should be open for negotiations. You might even put a term limit on the name, especially for something like a scoreboard that will eventually need renovations."