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Area schools, library receive state incentive funds

MONTGOMERY &8212; A bond issue in combination with competitive grant proposals from all over the state have brought $1.1 million to area schools, Rep. A.J.McCampbell, D-Demopolis, announced Tuesday.

The funds are part of a bond issue passed during the previous legislation and will be distributed by the Alabama Public School and College Incentive Fund to schools, community colleges, universities and public libraries all over the state. The organizations to benefit from the funds in McCampbell&8217;s district include Demopolis City Schools, Greene County Board of Education, Linden City Schools, Marengo County Board of Education, Tuscaloosa County Board of Education, Marengo County Library and Sumter County Board of Education.

According to Dr. Wayne Vickers, Superintendent of Demopolis City Schools, the $100,000 allocated to the system will partially fund two of the four grants they submitted to the state.

Capital improvements at Demopolis Middle School such as replacing tiles and a new roof for the vocational wing of the school received $50,000 of the proposed $250,000 and technology upgrades to the system&8217;s infrastructure received $50,000 from the proposed $250,000.

The next step for using the funds, Vickers said, is to work them into the system&8217;s long range plan by seeking out financial options for the remaining costs of the projects.

At the Marengo County Library, capital improvements are also a concern. Librarian Joyce Morgan said they have been looking at expanding their facilities for quite some time.

With the $80,000 awarded by the grants, Morgan said they will be one step closer to renovating another building owned by the county to expand their current 2,500-square foot facility to a 4,800-square foot facility.

With 10,000 visitors last year and approximately 325 visitors a month, Morgan said their needs have outgrown the building they are in. These funds, along with grants the library will continue to apply for will help alleviate their growing pains, Morgan said.

For the Linden City Schools, Superintendent Scott Collier has also been working to improve facilities at each of his system&8217;s schools. The bulk of the $245,000 award to LCS will go to fund renovations at the Linden High School gym. The rest of the funds will be used for a technology initiative and improvements at the Marengo County Technology Center.

The remaining funds will be used for 13 different projects ranging from technology and infrastructure to building renovations. Other organizations receiving the funds are:

Marengo Board of Education &8212; $200,000;

Greene County Board of Education &8212; $250,000;

Tuscaloosa County Board of Education &8212; $75,000 and

Sumter County Board of Education &8212; $150,000.