Volkswagen donates $50,000 to Hamilton Co.'s STEM High School
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB)- Hamilton County Schools is getting another boost of support for its new STEM school.
Volkswagen stepped up with a big donation.
The Hamilton County school system is eager to get its new high school, dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, up and running.
The latest donation from Volkswagen is helping fill the gap of the funds needed to support the school in its first year.
Workers are putting the finishing touches on the new STEM High School in Hamilton County.
The 17,000 square foot, converted warehouse space, will soon house state of the art technology and science labs.
To show its support, Volkswagen is donating $50,000 to help get the school up and running.
For Volkswagen, it is an investment.
"For the future of this plant, to have the right skilled work force, the right professional workforce, we need a really strict and rigid education," says Hans-Herbert Jagla with Volkswagen.
"Certainly this financial gift from Volkswagen will significantly enhance the initial program," says Hamilton County Superintendent Rick Smith.
Smith says Hamilton County is leading the way in our region with the new school.
"If you look at where business and industry is going now, it's so much more technological," he says,
Smith says education needs to keep up with the growth and pace of new business in southeast Tennessee.
"I think that we'll have opportunity for young people to decide what they want to do after high school," he says.
Smith says the support from large businesses like Volkswagen makes all the difference.
But they need more local businesses to pitch in.
"We're getting closer to our goal. We estimated about $500,000 to do everything we needed to do."
Smith says, in the long run, the school will be a valuable resource for the community.
"it will open on time on August the 13th," he says.
Smith says the school system still has a little more fund raising to do, saying its about $150,000 shy of its goal.
He says there have been a lot of in-kind donations, with businesses donating construction materials, like lighting.
Seventy-eight students are enrolled.