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Fleeta gets $125K for gym work

Monday, Fleeta Junior High School in Opp received a $125,000 grant to improve its gym, which was originally built more than 30 years ago.

House Speaker Seth Hammett (D-Andalusia) and state Sen. Jimmy Holley (R-Elba) sought and won approval of a $125,000 allocation from the Alabama Public School and College Authority to make capital improvements to Fleeta’s athletic facilities. The money comes from interest earned on a 2007 bond issue.

“We need new bleachers very badly,” Fleeta principal Roger McLain said. “We’re going to replace the bleachers and the flooring, and renovate the dressing rooms. If we have any money left over, we’ll do some work on the ceiling as well.”

McLain said the gymnasium has not had any major remodeling work done since it was built in the early 1970s. It also serves as an auditorium for the school.

McLain said the bidding process could begin in October, with work starting shortly after. He said the work would be done after school hours and on weekends so as to not interrupt classes.

In a press release, Hammett and Holley said they were pleased to help “meet a need” for Covington County.

“Fleeta School is an important part of our community and does an excellent job of providing a quality academic and physical education program,” Hammett said. “I am delighted we could help meet a critical need for the students, faculty, parents and community.”

“Fleeta students deserve a safe and modern environment where they can play and develop healthy lifestyles,” Holley said. “I hope the improvements to the athletic facilities will be a source of pride for the entire community.”

McLain also thanked local legislators for their work in securing the funding.

“Sen. Holley and Speaker Hammett will forever be remembered for their help with this project,” he said.