RC&D Council and State Legislature Make Way for PCHS Scope of Practice Upgrades – Franklin County Times
Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Northwest RC&D Council, made possible by funding from the Alabama Legislature, Phil Campbell High School was able to complete its scope of practice upgrade.
The funds were used for the installation of drainage, base and artificial grass. RC&D members, school employees and local officials attended the announcement of the completion of the community development project at the school on February 28.
Northwest Resource Conservation & Development is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports educational and community development projects in Northwest Alabama, serving Franklin, Colbert, Lauderdale, Marion, and Winston counties.
Funds are provided by the state legislature and groups within the counties served apply for grants. RC&D selects the beneficiaries and distributes the funds.
Representative Proncey Robertson explained that schools and sports teams have budgets that could not undertake certain projects without additional funding.
“We are proud to be able to support projects through the North West RC&D council so that there can be a focus on meeting needs beyond what can be covered by core budgets alone,” said said Robertson. “We pride ourselves on filling those holes when we can.”
Robertson said the Legislature tries to provide more funding for RC&D each year so additional projects can be done. “It’s an example of local taxpayers’ money coming back to meet local needs.”
For PCHS coach Kevin Barnwell, carrying out the project is a question of quality and increased safety for the students.
“The improvements to our practice field provide our students with a safe place to practice,” Barnwell explained. “Terrain can become uneven and present safety issues, and our new setup is much better equipped to provide a safe training location. With these upgrades, students can even train safely in the rain. .
Rep. Jamie Kiel expressed enthusiasm for the legislature allocating funds to rural projects, like this one.
“Our coaches and players work hard and deserve proper facilities,” he said, “and I’m thrilled the Alabama legislature can help make that possible.”
Northwest RC&D Vice President Don Barnwell said the Council is proud to be able to help with projects like this.
“We’re able to make a big impact in the counties we serve by allocating these funds, and it’s something we’re excited to be able to do.”
For Lauranne James, Executive Director of Northwest RC&D, driving range upgrades are an important way to improve the student experience.
“We love that we can help bring projects to fruition to benefit our local schools and communities,” she said, “so that needed projects can receive the funding they should have.”
Katernia Cole Coffey, Franklin County Extension Coordinator and Northwest RC&D member, said it was important to provide relief whenever possible.
“This improved training ground will help athletes perform at a higher level while being good for school budgets,” Coffey said. “I’m so glad we can be a part of this worthwhile project and help ease the burden on the school in making these improvements.”
It’s a value that Barry Moore, Chairman of the Franklin County Commission and member of the Northwest RC&D Council, has declared to be valid.
“I appreciate that our state legislature and RC&D office staff are administering these grants,” he said, “and I look forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to the school.”
PCHS Director Darit Riddle also expressed his gratitude for the grant and the completion of the project.
“We are grateful for the support of our local schools by providing the necessary funding for this project,” Riddle said. “It’s something we couldn’t afford otherwise.”