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Latrobe school art display proposal gets $1 million grant from Richard King Mellon Foundation

| Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
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Architectural rendering of the Greater Latrobe Junior High School improvements made possible in part by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

A plan to establish a display area for museum-quality art at Greater Latrobe Junior High School is moving forward, thanks to a $1 million grant, school officials said Wednesday.

The Richard King Mellon Foundation's gift also will improve technology in district classrooms, officials said.

“We're just absolutely thrilled about it,” said Maryann White, president of Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation.

“Right now (the involved area for the art collection) is very dull, very dreary. We're bringing in new life,” she said.

Most of the grant will go to renovating the display area for the junior high art collection. This collection will be based on the one that has adorned the senior high school for the last 75 years, White said.

The intent of the art collection is to foster student success, Superintendent Judith Swigart said.

“Obviously, it is a total transformation for the school district,” she said. “We're extremely excited to have the opportunity to expand the special art collection.”

Plans are to put the project out for bid early next year and do construction in the summer, White said.

“White boards” and other state-of-the-art technology tools will be added to kindergarten through grade 12 classrooms with a portion of the money, officials said.

“Our board members are deeply honored to have the trust and confidence of such a highly regarded and respected foundation,” White said.

“Their leadership role in creating a world-class learning environment for the Greater Latrobe community's students through private philanthropy is truly affirming,” she added.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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