Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
Macon County Schools recognized Phil and Sharon Drake on Monday night for their ongoing support of the school system.
“Tonight I want to announce that Phil and Sharon Drake have donated 16 acres of land adjacent to Mountain View Intermediate School,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin. “We are extremely grateful for this donation and what it means for our students.”
The property adjacent to MVI will be developed as needed by the school system, providing needed space for expansion in the coming years.
Phil Drake said that the donation was just one way to support public education in Macon County.
“Sharon and I have always thought that the school system needed this tract of land,” said Drake. “With the budget crunch that the school system always experiences, we didn’t think they would have the funds to purchase it from us, so we decided to give it to them.”
Mountain View Intermediate sits in Clarks Chapel and serves students in 5th and 6th grade. The acreage will help the school system expand if needed, but also provide options as nearby Macon Middle School campus is being evaluated for renovations and remodeling.
Macon County Board of Education Chairman Jim Breedlove shared his appreciation for not only the donation, but the ongoing support of the school system from the Drake Family.
“It would be difficult to mention all of the ways the Drake family have supported the school system over the years, but their support has been substantial,” said Breedlove. “Phil has been instrumental in our STEM program and getting that established and being able to continue it for our students, so this is just another way he has helped the students of Macon County.
Dr. Baldwin says the district will evaluate the property and develop a plan for its usage moving forward.
“The 16 acres adjacent to Mountain View Intermediate is an important parcel for the school system,” said Dr. Baldwin. “We are still in the planning phase of how to best utilize the property. However, this important donation provides an immediate buffer for both MVI and MMS. We have been concerned about how this property could be purchased and developed in a manner that might have a negative impact on both schools. Now, the school system has more control over this property.”