Marengo County Schools receive grants from Ainsworth

Published 4:18 pm Friday, December 8, 2023

Several Marengo County schools have received funding from Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth via the K-12 Capital Grant Program.

Linden High School, Demopolis Middle School (DMS), U.S. Jones Elementary School, Westside Elementary School, A.L. Johnson High School (ALJHS), Marengo High School (MHS), and Sweet Water High School (MHS) all received funding from the program.

Linden received $1.1 million, DMS received $350,000, U.S. Jones received $350,000, Westside Elementary school received $350,000, ALJHS received $300,000, MHS received $300,000, and SWHS received $200,000.

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The office of Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth was charged with facilitating the grant process that was created during the 2023 Legislative Session. Ainsworth granted almost $179 million to 327 K-12 public schools across Alabama. The K-12 Capital Grant Program allowed public schools to apply for one-time funding for needed capital projects, deferred maintenance, technology improvements, school security enhancements, or existing debt service.

“We reviewed each application with strict adherence to the law, prioritized the schools and systems where funding would make the biggest impact,” Ainsworth said in a release from his office, “and worked hard to make sure each geographic region and area of the state received a fair allocation.”

The program required school officials to match some funding on a sliding scale, depending on local tax revenue. School officials applied for each project at each school, resulting in multiple applications from each school district. Some schools received more than one grant award.

Linden City Schools Superintendent Dr. Timothy Thurman said that Linden will use its funding to aid in constructing a new high school building.

“The grant really helps us in moving forward on the project,” said Thurman.

Technology Coordinator and Career Tech Coordinator Terry Norton said the Marengo County School System would use the funding to install more security measures on its three campuses (SWHS, MHS, and ALJHS).

The school system aims to install more secure entry doors and frames, security fencing, address a mold issue at SWHS, and potentially upgrade its camera system for school buses depending on how much remains after prioritized projects are complete.