June 2, 2014

‘We can’t say how grateful we are’

Infusion of money from donor to improve schools

Charles Oliver

— Last year, an anonymous donor stepped forward with almost $1 million to fund a major renovation of the athletic facilities at Southeast Whitfield High School.

On Monday, the Whitfield County Board of Education accepted some $590,000 from the same donor to improve facilities and services at Southeast Whitfield and five other county schools.

“We really need a lot of these things, especially the improvements at Southeast,” board member Rodney Lock said. “But we don’t have the money to finance it. For this person to step up and help us out like this, it’s overwhelming. We can’t say how grateful we are.”

The money donated last year is being used to build a new track around the football field, expand the number of tennis courts to six from four and add lighting, replace the main concession stand roof and paint it, improve practice facilities and add new fencing around the stadium and tennis courts.

The board accepted these donations Monday:

• $127,378 for an activity bus for Southeast Whitfield.

• $99,540 for improvements at the football field at Southeast Whitfield.

• $86,400 for a futsal field at Dug Gap Elementary School. Futsal is a type of soccer game played on a smaller field. The field will be large enough for three games to be played at the same time.

• $76,000 to complete the balance of the field work at Southeast Whitfield and for additional athletic equipment.

• $71,951 for a bus awning at Antioch Elementary School. Superintendent Judy Gilreath said the awning will be a “very nice” one.

• $29,034 for Southeast Whitfield to cover the balance of school trips.

• $28,000 for an all-terrain vehicle, drums and uniforms for the Southeast Whitfield band.

• $25,250 for a mobile computer lab for Phoenix High School.

• $15,100 to rehabilitate the Valley Point Middle School baseball field.

• $12,100 to rehabilitate the concession stand at Dug Gap.

• $8,000 for the Conflicts Are Resolved Easily (CARE) program at Antioch Elementary School. The program learn to resolve conflicts peacefully and avoid violence. The money will fund T-shirts, buttons and medals for those students who complete the program

• $7,100 for drawings and $4,000 for soil samples for a possible new entrance to the gym at Southeast Whitfield.