30 Iowa Conference titles
PELLA — With a significant gift, PPI (Precision Pulley & Idler, Inc.) of Pella is funding a new Daktronics video display scoreboard at Central College’s Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium.
The announcement was made by PPI president Roger Brown and Central president Mark Putnam.
“Among the many qualities that make Central College such a special place is the close relationship we enjoy with the Pella community,” Putnam said. “And our connection with PPI is one we cherish. It’s a family-oriented, employee-owned company that has enjoyed tremendous growth and invests in the community in so many ways beyond its generous financial support. We are enormously grateful for the commitment PPI has made as the sole source of commercial funding for this project. We will be proud to have the PPI name displayed permanently at Schipper Stadium on the new scoreboard.”
“As an employee-owned company we recognize the value of our skilled employees,” said Greg Stravers, vice president of human resources at PPI. “Skilled employees start with a strong background in education and that starts with the schools in the communities in which we exist. Athletics are a focus because the lessons learned by being part of a team translate to employees who know how to participate as a team when they enter the business world.
“PPI also takes seriously our corporate responsibility to the communities which support us by giving back to these communities. Central College contributes significant revenue, an educated workforce and leadership to the Pella community that makes it stronger and a great place for business.”
The scoreboard measures 27 feet wide by 35 feet, 6 inches tall, including a video display board that’s 21 feet, 7 inches wide and 12 feet tall. The video display will be the largest in the Iowa Conference.
It will be installed on the north end of Schipper Stadium. Aside from use during football games, the video board can be synched with automatic timing systems and display placewinners and times at track and field meets.
“This will create a much improved overall game-day experience for both student-athletes and fans,” said athletics director Eric Van Kley. “We greatly appreciate our partnership with PPI, which made this happen. It’s part of our overall initiatives to continue facility enhancement, which is important not only for our student-athletes but for recruiting as well. This underscores the commitment we are making to our program. It builds on the Central tradition and increases our ability to compete at a national level moving forward.”
PPI was founded in 1977 with the goals of providing high-performance conveyor components and competitive pricing, combined with unparalleled customer service. Those goals have not changed over the years, and in fact, have been enhanced. Every PPI employee is involved in the process of putting the customer first. PPI listens to customer needs and knows that by responding quickly, it improves the customers’ business profitability and potential. At PPI, “We Keep It Moving,” assuring customers those critically important conveyors are always moving.
New football playing surface installed--Van Kley also reported that installation of a new football field playing surface is complete. It’s an improved version of the FieldTurf surface that was installed prior to the 2006 season. A defect in that surface prompted the replacement earlier this summer.
“We’re really excited about what is happening at Schipper Stadium,” said football coach Jeff McMartin. “These are improvements that will benefit the players but will also improve the experience for fans. This will make game day really special.
“I like what we have to offer now with our facilities and our field. We’ve got some great things going on and this puts us in a good place.”
McMartin said some high school athletes have given the new field a test run.
“We’ve been out on the field for our summer high school camps and it’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s a tremendous improvement over what we had.”
Central’s football and track and field programs are cornerstones of the Dutch athletics tradition. The football squad owns a record 30 Iowa Conference titles with 20 NCAA Division III playoff appearances and no losing seasons since 1960. The Dutch men’s track and field squad has posted 13 top-20 NCAA team finishes, with 15 league outdoor crowns, including four since 2009. The women have seven national top-20 team finishes, including one NCAA team championship, with five league titles.