Abbeville, AL (WSFA) – The painful cuts in the state education budget have made it impossible for many school systems to make much needed capital improvements.
But a local grant is paving the way for those changes at Abbeville High School.
This week, workers are leveling a new multipurpose field behind the school.
It's a project not costing the school system one penny.
"This is just strictly outside grants that we've asked a written for, and we were fortunate enough to get some local support," said Dennis Coe, Superintendent of Henry County Schools.
Since the new school was built, the parking lot has doubled as the PE and band field, making it difficult for the groups to carry out normal activities.
PE Coach Moses Knight said, "In the springtime, we like to get outside and play softball and in the fall, play football. But we've been restricted because of this situation."
Band member Chatesha Vaughn says it's made it especially hard to nail down the band's marching routines.
"We were so used to having yellow duct tape to mark fake yard lines on the concrete. We had to step around rocks, and one girl even hurt her ankle."
The new field is putting Chatesha and her fellow band members on a level playing field in more ways than one.
Band Director Mark Brantley said, "We've had a disadvantage of not having a regular size field. We've had to kind of downsize everything in our marching, and when we actually got on the field, it wouldn't feel the same. This will definitely put us on even par with other bands in the area."
Chatesha says she and her friends are grateful. "I think I speak on behalf of the whole band because they didn't have to do this, but they did it. And we appreciate them for it."
It's a boost in morale that's music to the ears of these students.