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Springboro schools: Great relationship with MVH despite new naming deal

Springboro school officials said the district continued to have a “great relationship” with Miami Valley Hospital (MVH), while on the verge of signing a naming-rights agreement for CareFlight Field with another company hoping to eventually replace the hospital as the main sponsor.

Tonight, the Springboro Board of Education is scheduled to consider a contract with Watkins Heating & Cooling for naming rights at the football stadium, to be known as CareFlight Field at Watkins Stadium.

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On Wednesday, Watkins Vice President David Watkins said he hopes to one day see the name shortened to Watkins Stadium in exchange for the company’s continued support of the district’s sports programs.

In 2007, the school district and Dayton-based hospital signed agreements financing a three-story, $9 million “Healthplex” to be shared by the district and hospital. This agraeement runs through 2029, according to school disrtrict.

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The football field features artificial turf purchased with about $2 million the hospital pledged for stadium improvements in exchange for naming rights, which runs out in 2022. The agreement also covered seating expansions and a press box.

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While the district carries the loan, the hospital was to make payments ranging from $720,000 in 2007 to $1.1 million.

“The current agreement runs through 2022 with an option to extend into the future. MVH has had a great relationship with Springboro Schools and will work closely with school administration on any plans for renewal at the appropriate time,” the school district said this morning in a statement issued in response to questions about the pending deal with Watkins.

This and other responses were identical to those issued on Wednesday by the hospital.

Today the district added that the only tenants of the parts of the building set aside for hospital doctors and staff was the Springboro Community Assistance Center (SCAC) Food Pantry.

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“We have had physicians practicing out of the EduCare building in the past and because the area is not easy to access for some patients, the practices were move to other Premier Health facilities,” according to the district’s statement.

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Also the district there will be no bond debt for the project, as the track improvements with the money from Watkins, $426,000 set aside by the disrtrict in track and field funds and $80,000 over four years from boosters..

The pending contract calls for Watkins to pay for improvements to the track and football field at the stadium in exchange for naming rights for the stadium and “other sponsorship and marketing rights,” for 10 years, according to agreements on Thursday’s school-board agenda and interviews with those involved.

The agreements set the stage for the name change.

“If the MVH agreement expires on May 15, 2022, ‘CareFlight Field’ signage will be removed by the School District,” the agreement states.

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“The stadium shall be simply referred to as ‘Watkins Stadium’ after that date until May 31, 2028,” according to the pending contract.

“That’s the hope,” Watkins said.

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Under the agreement, already signed by Watkins, the company is to pay $22,500 every six months or a total of $450,000.

The money is to be used to replace the field and track around it, starting in August, Watkins said on Wednesday.

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