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Electronic sign more trouble than first expected
Since August, the new Risley Middle School in the Southport area of south Glynn has operated without a sign -- and it may be without one for three more months, school board officials say.

A banner with the school's name currently hangs on a fence adjacent to the campus.

At-large school board member Jerry Mancil, who lives in the area near the new school on Southport Parkway, is asking school system administrators when the sign will be erected.

"It started out as something that was supposed to be simple," he said. "Then the first month went by, and then it was December. Now it's the second semester, and we still don't have a sign at the school."

Mancil said the lack of sign has prompted questions from some residents about what the building is.

In addition to identifying the building, the electronic marquee expected to be built into the sign will keep parents informed about activities at the school. Other schools have similar setups.

But the electronic marquee is what's holding up process.

County zoning laws do not allow for electronic signs there, said Al Boudreau, director of operations for the school system.

Although the school system's attorney told the board at a recent facilities committee meeting that the school system is not beholden to the same zoning ordinances, Boudreau said he wants to meet the county's wishes out of a spirit of cooperation.

So a sign that was supposed to have two parts - a sign with the school's name and mascot, along with a scrolling electronic message board beneath it - will now have only the top half, Boudreau said.

The electronic message board will be hung on the building itself, near the front entrance of the school.

Getting it approved meant several visits with county planners and a presentation before the Glynn County Commission's Mainland Planning Commission, which meets only once a month.

"It's just been a lengthy process, but I think we've got it all worked out," Boudreau said.

He expects the sign will be completed by April.

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