$2.1-million fundraising effort underway in Harlan


August 21st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Harlan Community Schools Education Foundation has begun a nationwide effort to raise $2.1 million in private funding. During the Harlan Community District’s School Board meeting Monday, Superintendent Justin Wagner introduced the community fund drive for the school district. The fund drive will be broken down to 4 categories. Wagner says one category the fund drive focuses on is STEM. That stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Wagner says they are asking for $450,000 to start their own regional STEM academy, and to partner with other school districts.

The 2ndcategory is the music department. Wagner says they have some instrumentation needs not only on the music side but also the vocal side. He says there is a $150,000 spot on there for the music program. The biggest part of the fund raising effort though, will be for Merrill Field. Wagner says they know they have to do some things regarding safety with the track, bleachers, and doing something with the entry way. he says installing field turf needs to be done all at once, and involves taking extra precautions to protect the track. The other renovations to Merrill Field include new scoreboard with a video board, a chain link fence around the entire football field and an automatic timing system for track. The total cost for the Merrill Field renovations is $1.5 million.

Wagner says the 4th category is “Other.” He says if there is something else people want to give to, or have a passion for, they will be happy to take those gifts as well. Since the effort by the Harlan Community Education Foundation, all the money raised will be private funding with no tax dollars being used for the projects. A flyer is being mailed to residents in the Harlan Community School District within the next few days with more information about the projects. Wagner says the bottom line right now it would be easier to do nothing, but they don’t think that’s the right way to do things for students in the district.

In other business, the Harlan Community School Board approved a shared agreement with Lewis Central for girl’s swimming. The parents of the participants will pay $250 and provide transportation for their child. Lewis Central School Board also approved the agreement Monday night at their school board meeting.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)