The sign is down.
The words “Ritacco Center,” hidden behind a white cover for almost a year, were removed from the the Ritacco Center yesterday.
Sign crews were seen removing the signage yesterday morning, part of the transition to . The arena is on the Tcampus, on Old Freehold Road.
The cover over “Ritacco Center” went up shortly after former Superintendent Michael Ritacco resigned last October, the same day of , accused of a multi-million kickback scheme with an insurance broker.
According to federal prosecutors, his trial was again rescheduled from January to April, the fourth rescheduling of the trial.
Pine Belt Automotive Group bought the naming rights to the arena, a contract previously held by Poland Spring. Pine Belt's five year contract cost $500,000.
Pine Belt will pay $100,000 each year of a five-year contract for the right for the 3,500-seat arena to bear its name. The Toms River Regional School Board approved the contract at its June meeting.
This was after two attempts to solicit bids for the naming rights, said Toms River Regional Business Administrator William Doering. Both a Feb. 23 and a March 23 bidding netted .
The cost of installing and creating the new Pine Belt signs for the arena became an expense for the district, Doering said previously. The contract signed by Pine Belt had Toms River Regional paying for the sign. Doering said the cost was approximately $26,000, in a contract to Girtain Sign of Toms River.
"That will cover all the changing of the signs," Doering said at the August school board meeting. The district has been removing previous signage of "Ritacco Center" and "Poland Spring Arena" from the campus.