Port Allen High School capitalized on its recent athletic accomplishments and launched the first annual Capital Campaign to put finishing touches on its still-under-construction gymnasium.
The Capital Campaign raised more than $13,000 in about five weeks with a goal of just over $20,000.
The funds will be used to purchase a digital scores table, customized padded backstop, two vinyl displays, a tablecloth, and a customized photo backdrop.
School renovations, including a new auxiliary gym and a 450-seat theater, were made possible by a voter-approved tax in 2017. Both are expected to open for the 2019-2020 school year.
The School Board would eventually fund some items listed in the Capital Campaign, but the school wanted to allow the community to become Pelican partners, PAHS principal James Jackson said.
“It’s important to us because it gives all of our stakeholders an opportunity to contribute and be part of the school,” Jackson said.
The Capital Campaign was inspired by annual fundraisers often held by private institutions. The goal was to raise $20,098, which included all of the items listed above and two trophy cases. The trophy cases, which cost approximately $7,000, were not funded with this year’s campaign.
Notable PAHS alumnus Andre Hal made a $6,000 donation towards the digital scores table at the launch of the campaign. Several local businesses and organizations also donated funds.
Teachers helped raise funds by pledging to call one West Side business every day of the campaign. Companies and individuals who donated more than $500 will be thanked with a banner in the new PAHS gym.
The Port Allen City Council approved the school’s request for approximately $3,800 to purchase a customized padded backstop for the new gym. The requested funds come out of an expense account called “Recreation Expenses” as a line item in the Community Development Department of the city’s General Fund. The expense account was approved at the request of the Westside Bulldogs last year. So far, the city has approved approximately $13,300 in funding for itemized requests made by the Pelican Foundation, Port Allen Middle School and Port Allen High School.
The Capital Campaign will be an annual event at Port Allen High, Jackson said. The school administration has made plans to raise funds for new desks for teachers and students in 2020.
“We want to try to raise some money on our own to get the things we want for our students and teachers,” Jackson said. “I wanted to make sure that we didn’t come across as ungrateful for our newly renovated school and all of the money that taxpayers put into making that possible.”