By SHERI GASSAWAY
Herculaneum, MO – The Electrical Connection, a partnership between IBEW Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), helped the Herculaneum Blackcats kick off football season in style by donating a new digital scoreboard to the high school.
The scoreboard, installed by NECA contractor Schaeffer Electric and electricians from IBEW Local 1, was dedicated on Sept. 6 prior to the Blackcats’ game against Fredericktown High School.
“There’s always excitement in a new Herculaneum High School football season, but a new scoreboard brings added energy to the games, said Dunklin R-5 School District Superintendent Stan Stratton. “We are grateful to the Electrical Connection IBEW/NECA partnership for making our games even more memorable with the donation of the new scoreboard. They are a great supporter of our school and community.”
Tammy Heidland, who owns NECA contractor Summit Electric with her husband Doug, is a member of the district’s Board of Education. The couple’s children are enrolled in the district, and Heidland saw firsthand the disappointment the old scoreboard created among students and football fans.
“Year after year, I looked at that scoreboard and sometimes the lights would work and sometimes they didn’t,” she said. “Then I saw stories in the Labor Tribune about the Electrical Connection donating scoreboards in other school districts, so I asked Chuck DeMoulin about the possibility.”
DeMoulin, an IBEW 1 business representative and president of the Jefferson County Labor Club, contacted the Electrical Connection and put the ball in motion.
“The scoreboard was literally falling apart,” he said. “It was there since the high school was built, and it was an eyesore and a blow to the ego of the students who played there.”
In August 2018, voters approved a $6 million bond issue for capital improvements in the district. It also received a $1.4 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a 12-classroom addition at Pevely Elementary School that will double as a storm shelter. The $7.9 million project is being built 100-percent union.
“With all the improvements needed in the district, we knew their budget didn’t include funding for a new scoreboard,” DeMoulin said. “This is our way of giving back to our community without using taxpayer dollars and showing the district our appreciation for allowing us to do the work.”
NECA contractor J.F. Electric is currently working on electrical upgrades for the district. In the last six years, NECA contractors Aschinger Electric, Ozark Electric, Kaemmerlen Electric and Schaeffer Electric have also served the district.