A Maine-Endwell graduate is giving back to his alma mater and many students will benefit from the donation. More than $2 million will go toward improving the district's athletic stadiums. Our Melissa Kakareka has more details on what work will be done.
ENDWELL, N.Y. -- The Maine-Endwell School District has been wanting to make improvements to its baseball complex. But under the school's current budgetary challenges, it simply wouldn't be possible.
"It's something we knew we would have to address at some point, but under the circumstances, we didn't feel it's a prudent time to even bring that conversation up with anybody," said Superintendent Jason Van Fossen.
But thanks to a former student, the baseball team could be playing in a new stadium by April. Thomas and Alba Tull have donated more than $2 million for the improvement of the baseball field.
Thomas Tull is a graduate of the Maine-Endwell Class of 1988 and was a member of the baseball team. Tull is now the Chairman and Chief Executive of Legendary Entertainment and part owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Van Fossen said, "When someone is willing to gift us something that the students and the community will take advantage of and can enjoy and it's costing us minimal to no dollars at all, it's hard to say no and not to be excited by that."
The money will be used to put in an Astroturf field, new dugouts and other renovations.
"I think just the idea of playing on such a premiere facility will in and of itself motivate them and inspire them to work hard," said Van Fossen.
A portion of the donation will also be used to install lighting at the district's multipurpose athletic stadium. Electric conduit was run to the stadium when it was built, but there is currently no lighting system installed.
"We ran the conduit knowing someday we would want to do that, so this gift is doing what we would have liked to do have done earlier," said Van Fossen.
The gift still has to be approved by the State Department of Education and is pending acceptance by the school board. If accepted, work would begin in late fall.