GROVE  TOWER  REDEDICATION

 

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By BILL WILLIAMS
P-I Editor and Publisher

The success of a three year cam-
paign to save the Grove School
Tower building from destruction will
be celebrated Saturday in a pro-
gram to rededicate the building for
continued use in public education.

The dedication program, open to
the public, begins at 9 a.m. on the
north porch of the Tower building.
which has been renovated for new
offices of Henry County Board of
Education.

Interior work has been completed,
and construction of an access ramp
for the handicapped is the only ma-
jor unfinished work. The school
board is expected to move soon from
its current location on West
Washington Street.

Recent gifts add
$1,800 to fund

An additional $1,800 in contribu-
tions has been received for the pro-
ject to renovate the Grove School
Tower building.

One gift added to a previous one.
won recognition on a bronze plaque'
naming those who have given $1000
or more. It was given by Louise
Keenan in memory of Mr. and Mrs.
O.B. Keenan.

The other gifts all will be included
on a framed honor roll of donors who
have given $100 or more.

They are by Malcolm and Mildred
Hill in honor of George Hill, by Dor-
ris M. Phelps in honor of Sue Jean
Ford Phelps, by Bobby J. and Anne
Caldwell Collins. by Harold B.
Jackson and Vera Gray Jackson
and Cynthia Jackson Perry, by
John Bowles Cooper, by Ruby and
Clem Krider and by Wayne and
Lucille Bomar Bowden.

"The Grove Tower building Is
very dear to our hearts," the
Kriders wrote. That is where we
did all our courting, lo those many


years ago. Please accept our con-
tribution with many thanks to the
committee for the effort they have
put into saving the Tower."

The project has been financed by
contributions of Grove High School
alumni and others through Save
Grove Tower Association, an
organization of supporters formed in
the fall of 1983 after the building had
stood vacant for four years.

Saturday's program will include
recognition of leaders in the cam-
paign, volunteer workers and others
who have assisted. The program will
culminate with (the unveiling of two
plaques, one recognizing contribu-
tions of $1,000 or more and the other
recognizing volunteer workmen, and
of a framed honor roll of donors w ho
have given $100 or more but less
than $1,000

The principal speaker will he Dr.
Larry T. McGehee, a 1954 alumnus
of Grove and one of 23 members of
Save Grove Tower's Advisory
Board. He is now vice president for
development and professor of
religion at Woffort College in Spar-
tanhurg, S.C.; his weekly column.
"Southern Seen," appears in The
Post-lntelligencer and 114 other
newspapers.

The master of ceremonies for the
program will be Paris attorney
William T. Looney, a 1962 Grove
graduate and secretary of the
association. The association's presi-
dent, John M. Upchurch, Class of 1929 will welcome those attending.

A response will be given by Dan
Murphy, chairman of the Board of
Education. McGehee will be in-
troduced by Frank K. Gallimore,
superintendent of the county schools.

The plaques will be unveiled by
Mildred Rhea, Class of 1928, associa-
tion treasurer. The invocation will
be by Charles Orr, Class of 1947, a
member of the Advisory Board.

The program will include special
recognition of those who have played
leading roles in the drive and of

former Grove teachers and prin-
cipals. They will be seated on the
school's north porch, and the au-
dience will gather on (the lawn below.
Those who wish to are invited to bring,
lawn chairs.

In event of rain, the ceremony will
he held in the cafeteria of Grove
Junior High School, where
refreshments will be served after
the program. Tours of the Tower
Building will follow the program,
and those attending are invited to bring
yearbooks, photos and other memorabilia.
Table/space will be available in the
cafeteria until noon.

The program will be broadcast live over
WTPR.

Built in 1906, the Grove Tower
building is listed on-the National
Register of Historic Places. It serv-
ed students for 73 years and was left
empty after Grove Junior High's
ninth grade moved to Henry County
High School. Alumni feared that the
vacant building eventually would be
demolished and organized Save
Grove Tower Association to finance
its renovation.

The project originally ; was
estimated to cost $225.000, but
donated labor and reduced priced
materials cut spending to below that
figure. A planning grant from (he
National Trust for Historic Preser
vation and $25,000 in matching funds
from Tennessee Historical Commis-
sion helped launch the fund raising.

The project included installation
of new heating, air conditioning, wir-
ing and lighting, lowered ceilings.
repainting and carpeting, a new roof
and other measures to make the
building sound and serviceable.

Interior work has been limited to
the first floor and basement; a se-
cond floor remains unfinished. A
new entrance ramp has been
created on the south side into into
a basement level book storage room.
a meeting room for the school board
also has been built in the basement.

 

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