Special to The Leader
The Orange Leader
Across the state of Texas agriculture students raised more than $130,000 to help West I.S.D restore what was lost after the April 17, 2013 fertilizer plant blast that destroyed much of the school district’s facilities.
The campaign for West FFA began in August when members of the Texas FFA learned that their fellow members in West would be attending school in portable buildings with nowhere to practice the hands-on aspect of the career and technical education program. Vidor FFA and the VHS FFA Booster Club donated monies to support their fellow FFA members in West.
Along with the thousands of Texas FFA members who washed cars, held dinners and took up collections to raise money Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples reached out to Kevin Maxwell, a construction company owner, who found a sympathetic audience with Rigid-Global, a Houston-based building manufacturer who provided a heavily discounted steel building to the cause. Five Texas livestock shows recruited by Justin Boots CEO Randy Watson along with numerous other agriculture groups also pitched in.
The combination of cash and in-kind donations totaled about $200,000. Now there is a brand new building standing where the smoldering wreckage of the town's intermediate school once stood.
“It is a clear demonstration of the power of a community,” said Texas FFA Executive Director Tom Maynard. “Everyone pulled together and gave a little; the results are breathtaking.”
The building dedication was held on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 11 a.m., on the site where West's intermediate school once stood. This ceremony was dedicated to the efforts of thousands of Texas students who worked to raise money to provide a place for West agricultural education students to develop technical skills in construction and mechanics.