Parents seek private donations to improve athletic facilities

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

Dothan, AL (WSFA) - Parents at Northview High School kicked fundraising efforts for a new athletic facility Wednesday.

The school has a strong athletics program, but school leaders say, something's missing.

Principal Ron Snell says, "We just don't have all the facilities to meet all the needs that we've got."

And in the midst of proration and shrinking budgets, parents like Gene Kearley, knew it was up to them.

Kearley, whose son attends Northview High, chairs the Sports Enhancement Committee, made up of parents, friends, and community leaders.  They plan to raise one million dollars through private donations to build a new Athletic Complex that will house the entire athletic department, as well as indoor practice facilities and a weight training area.

Principal Ron Snell says it is long overdue.  "We've got great coaches, we've got great players, and we've got great parents. What we don't have is a place to go."

Parents say, raising the funds will be a long road ahead, but they hope their efforts put Northview on the map for Alabama high school athletics.

Kearley says he hopes that one day they can compete with the Prattvilles, the Auburns and the Opelikas in the state, programs that have nice facilities, and in turn, successful programs.

He also believes that if you improve the athletic program at a school, you'll improve the school as a whole.  "They'll be a part of something that is a winning program, and we think in turn, that's going to affect positively on the academic community."

Parents hope to give the school a big vision for the future, coordinating the design of the building with the school system.