Acuity, school district ink sponsorship deal

Company will contribute $425,000 to help improve sports facilities in return for naming rights to GHS gym

GRAFTON SCHOOL DISTRICT officials accepted a $425,000 check from Acuity Insurance’s charitable foundation on behalf of the Grafton Education Foundation on Monday. Posing with the donation were (from left) School Board member Mark Koehler, Grafton Education Foundation member Bob Hoffman, Acuity representative Adam Norlander, board members John Scolman, Carrie Walls, Steve Nauta and Jerry Rossi, School Board President Paul Lorge, Supt. Jeff Nelson and board member Jo Maehl. Photo courtesy of Grafton School District
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton School District has inked its first major public-private sponsorship agreement, which will fund improvements to Grafton High School outdoor athletic facilities and rebrand the school gymnasium.

The latter facility will be called Acuity Gymnasium in exchange for a $425,000 donation from the Sheboygan-based insurance agency’s charitable foundation.

An Acuity official presented a check for the donation to the Grafton Education Foundation during Monday’s School Board meeting.

The board unanimously approved the agreement.    

Supt. Jeff Nelson said the majority of the donation will likely be used for the first phase of the athletic-facilities master plan, which was also approved during the meeting. 

That phase includes adding fencing and improving two entries to the football stadium at a cost of $560,964. 

“At this time, we believe most of the money will go toward our athletic facilities outside,” Nelson said.

Part of the donation may also be used to purchase an indoor sign and replace an existing outdoor sign on the southeast side of the high school along Highway 60 to acknowledge the new name of the gym, Nelson said. 

Nelson said the district will have to seek approval from the village for the outdoor sign.

According to the sponsorship agreement, Acuity will have naming rights for the gymnasium for 25 years.   

Nelson said the district approached Acuity about a sponsorship agreement nine months ago.

“They are a strong Wisconsin name, and we felt comfortable that they would be an organization we would be able to present to the board,” he said.  

Officials said they believe this is the first sponsorship agreement Acuity has made with any school district in Ozaukee County. In the past, the company has made donations to districts in Washington and Sheboygan counties.

The Grafton School District is seeking additional public-private sponsorship agreements to fund its athletic facilities, which were not included in a $39.9 million school facilities referendum approved by voters two years ago.

The projected cost for all four phases of the athletic facility master plan is $4.39 million.

According to the district’s advertising, sponsorship and exclusive rights policy, naming rights cannot be “associated with tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs or weapons; or contain vulgar or plainly offensive, obscene, or sexually explicit language or graphics.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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