PHM schools allowing sponsorship, sale of naming rights


You can have your name live on within a Penn-Harris-Madison school -- for a price.

The PHM school board has approved a new policy allowing the acceptance of donations for sponsorships and naming rights.

"We approved it tentatively, because there's some minor changes we want to make to it," says board member Randy Leliaert.

He says there's been significant interest from people and communities in the community, so board members passed the policy after its first reading.

For now, any sponsorship donations less than $5,000 can be approved or denied by Superintendent Jerry Thacker. Anything more must go through the school board.

But Leliaert wants to tweak the policy so that board members have final approval over any naming decisions.

"When you're putting the name of something on the school corporation, you want to make sure it's a good name, and it's going to last," he says.

Eighty percent of any sponsorship money will go to the district's non-profit Education Foundation, which funds grants, scholarships and programs for teachers and students, says Mari Linn Wise, the foundation's executive director.

"We sponsor the Penn Robotics Team, we also sponsor the first lego league teams at PHM, also the Penn Art Gallery, the China Exchange program that is available for all middle school students," Wise lists.

So how much will it take to get your name somewhere on a PHM school?

Leliaert says the board will work out the price tags on a case-by-case basis.

"If someone wants to rename the football stadium, it's going to have a heavy price tag to it," he says. "We'll decide whether it's enough."

PHM is not the first to try sponsorship in our area. South Bend's Riley High School sign is sponsored by Coca-Cola and Gates Automotive Group.

The corporation is accepting sponsorships at this time.

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