Dixons pledge, award $1.2M+

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Solon and Martha Dixon Foundation Thursday pledged more than $1.2 million to projects on three school and college campuses and awarded checks totaling more than $164,000 Thursday.

Two of the three campuses that will benefit from the pledges are in Covington County.

The foundation pledged $912,335 in partnership with Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences to support the construction, furnishings and equipment for new classrooms at the Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center.

The 5,300-acre Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center is a school forest that provides an exceptional summer field experience for Auburn’s forestry students, and other education and outreach opportunities during the remainder of the year.

The center is located two miles north of U.S. 29 South near the Covington/Escambia County line.

The new classroom facility funded by this gift will include two technologically-enhanced classrooms, a 100-person amphitheater and a 40-person classroom, bathroom facilities and a kitchenette/storage area.

The foundation also pledged $160,000 and awarded a $25,000 check to LBW Community College to support a pedestrian safety and campus enhancement project, which will highlight the visibility of the Martha and Solon Dixon Center for the Performing Arts, as well as improve the overall appearance and practicality of the campus.

The third campus to benefit from the foundation’s generosity on Thursday was Lyman Ward Military Academy, a military boarding school located in Camp Hill in Tallapoosa County.

The foundation awarded the LWMA $85,000 and pledged an additional $200,000 to the school.

The funds awarded Thursday include $30,000 to replace a roof on the school’s Tallapoosa Hall building, and $5,000 to begin a fundraising campaign to rebuild the Solon Dixon All Faith Chapel that was struck by lightning and burned a few years ago, as well as $50,000 to open an account to receive funds for this campaign. The $200,000 pledge also is for this project.

Other gifts presented this week included:

• $15,000 for Habitat for Humanity of Covington County in support of the organization’s construction of its next three houses.

• $6,000 for the Scottish Rite Foundation of Alabama in support of their annual fund drive for work with dyslexic students.

• $11,043 for repairs, refurbishment and network laser printers for the Covington County Health Department.

• $2,750 for the Covington Regional Honor Flight.

• $20,000 to the Opp Cultural Arts Council in support of building renovations and programs offered by the organization.