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Norwin School District considers feasibility of science and technology building

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By Dave Rullo
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Norwin officials will decide this summer if the district will embark upon a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of a science and technology building.

The proposed STEM Center would enable high school students to explore career pathways and work with Norwin teachers and mentors from business and industry teaching high tech in demand skills.

Bob Carter Companies, a firm that specializes in fundraising for nonprofit organizations, has interviewed 32 community leaders about the proposed STEM Center and the ability of the district to pay for the construction of the center. Jeff Curry, managing director of the firm, said the leaders interviewed had a “favorable impression” of the school district.

Now, the school board will have to decide if that good will lead to a capital campaign.

Superintendent William Kerr said the board will decide whether to move forward with the capital campaign over the next 60 to 90 days. Fundraising and philanthropy are new revenue sources for public education, Curry said. Kerr said this type of campaign is “a new concept for K-12.”

Next steps for the campaign would include creating a formal plan to select leadership for a steering committee and establishing a final plan for the campaign. The Bob Carter Companies would help to seek support from established foundations while the committee would reach out to the community.

Public funding of the facility is “the lowest-cost funding available because it doesn't have to be paid back,” Kerr said.

Bob Carter Companies is an international fundraising and philanthropy counsel and was hired by the district in February to determine if the district has the support to fund the building of the STEM center through fundraising.

Dave Rullo is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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