CARROLLTON, GA – An appreciation event held at the new Pope-McGinnis Student Activity Center Sunday afternoon showcased the new facility to individuals who collectively contributed $2 million to take a planned auxiliary gym project to a whole new level.
Because of their generosity, the new center, built on the Carrollton City Schools athletic complex, now includes a full regulation-size indoor field, the first one in the state of Georgia.
Carrollton City Schools Supt. Dr. Mark Albertus said without their support, the indoor field would have never happened.
“In the early stages of planning this facility, the thought of adding an indoor practice field surfaced in the discussion, but immediately was labeled as wishful thinking because the cost would far exceed the budget for the new gym,” said Albertus. “But this is where our community stepped up, and a capital campaign was born to raise the funding through private donations. Many loyal Carrollton families donated through this public-private partnership.”
Albertus said the taxpayers of Carrollton and Carroll County provided the bulk of the funding through their overwhelming support of a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. SPLOST funding set aside had already been earmarked for an auxiliary gym as part of the overall Carrollton High School replacement project and provided approximately two-thirds of the total $7 million cost of the facility.
“But it is the extra-mile effort of those of you invited here today that turned a great project into a grand one,” Albertus told the donors during his remarks to the group.
Albertus said four families in particular stepped up to provide exceptional means to push the idea from a dream to reality: Mack and Phyllis Skinner, Ray and Linda Fulford, the Ben Garrett family and the Tee Green family. These families and the others who contributed are publicly recognized on a Donor Wall displayed in the center’s main lobby.
Albertus also thanked the public entities that were critical to the project’s completion.
“The Carrollton Board of Education always – always – puts the wellbeing and support of our students above all else,” he said. He also thanked City of Carrollton officials, including Carrollton Parks and Recreation Department leadership, Peter Maierhofer and Julie Ivey.
“They truly understood what this project would mean to the youth of our city,” said Albertus.
Albertus also acknowledged appreciation for Trojan alumni Ben Garrett and Ann Fletcher who headed the capital campaign and the committee members who carried out the work – Brad Tuggle, Andy Johnson, Jeff Jones, Terrell Walker, Tom Glanton, Stacy Lawler, Melanie McLendon, Craig George, Boogie Johnson, Wood Cole and Laurie Fleck. He also thanked the Carrollton City Schools Education Foundation and the Community Foundation of West Georgia for jointly managing the fund and CHS Principal David Brooks and his leadership team for their efforts.
In his closing remarks, Albertus offered these words to sum up the project:
“We approached the challenge with the goal of producing a facility of exceptional potential with the philosophy of good stewardship,” said Albertus. “I believe we met our goal of creating a place that will greatly benefit our students and others and we owe it all to the support of our community.”