BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
Fort Dale Academy (FDA) held their ‘Celebratory Weekend’ commemorating the school’s 50th anniversary this past weekend.
Along with class reunions on Friday night, there was ‘Family Fun’ and oldies vs. goldies sports tournament Saturday.
Saturday evening, they had a dinner, silent auction, and band party with Two Lane Highway performing.
FDA is currently implementing a five-year ‘Capital Improvement Program’ to add to the schools facilities for a sports complex and gymnasium, parking and driveways, fencing, and ultimately football stadium and field renovations.
It is a four phase plan.
Phase 1 begins with a sports complex and practice gymnasium. Those began construction in the fall of 2019.
FDA began by demolishing the baseball batting cages at the practice field, reworking drainage issues, adding sewer service to the gymnasium and future press box, and updated electrical services to serve the existing weight room and a future press box and updated field lighting.
The gymnasium is currently under construction after groundwork and utility updates were made to serve the new buildings.
The new complex will allow the junior varsity and varsity basketball teams to practice simultaneously while offering additional practice space for Pee Wee basketball teams.
It will also offer additional space for physical education classes, weight room, and locker rooms while affording space for locker rooms for visiting football and soccer teams. The total cost expected is $925,000.
In Phase 2, there will be a new parking lot added and an extended drive to connect the campus.
FDA will pave the existing drive and teacher parking lot near the current gymnasium and extend the drive by the kindergarten building to the sports complex and connect with West Gamble Street. The total cost expected is $100,000.
In Phase 3, there will be updated perimeter fencing added with decorative metal partitions between brick columns. This is to help provide security and safety for the students and visitors.
The fencing will be erected along Woodvalley Drive, between the drive and new playground and West Gamble Street.
The total cost expected is $125,000
In Phase 4, there will be stadium and field renovations. Among the renovations planned are: new home side bleachers; a concrete or brick pad at the top of the bleachers for a seating a walking area; new lighting to include concrete poles and the elimination of overhead wires.
FDA will also widen the football field to bring it to regulation while accommodating a full soccer field and correcting drainage issues and installing new chain link fencing around the field.
In addition they will replace the replace the press box and add ADA compliant restrooms, a larger concession area and install an improved sound system. The total cost expected is $600,000.
In all, the expected cost of the capital improvement plan is $1,182,750.
FDA PTA President Leah Ellis stated the PTA is handling the Capital Improvement Campaign Project.
They are raising money through one-time donations and five-year pledges.
They are a 501(c)(3) organization so all donations are tax deductible. She can provide you with information for tax purposes and donations to the improvement plan.
FDA Board President Howard Meadows said the plan is projected to be completed by the summer of 2022.