Donald Clark, an employee of the General Services Administration wheels in boxes of computers presented to Ringgold Middle School Tuesday as part of the federal Computers for Learning program. After the April 27 tornados, most of Ringgold Middle School's computers and equipment were destroyed. The program will help the school and students recover from the disaster.Photo by Jenna Walker /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Ringgold Middle School lost about 65 computers when the April 27 tornado tore through the school.
On Tuesday, it got 56 more.
Dozens of students gathered as Shyam Reddy, head of the U.S. General Services Administration's Southeastern Region, presented the computers to the school.
Although both the school and Ringgold, Ga., faced serious challenges after the tornado, they've become resilient and can keep growing, Reddy said.
"It will continue to be a rebuilding experience," he said. "But the American way is hope and optimism."
Ringgold Middle School lost the computers when two computer labs were wiped out in the storm. Ever since, during tests students have had to gather in the school's media center where there aren't enough computers for everyone to use.
Karoline Sholl, a seventh-grader and the daughter of Principal Mike Sholl, said that without the computers, tests sometimes can't be finished in one period and must be continued until the next day.
"Now it'll be a lot easier," she said.
The General Services Administration, a federal agency that auctions off supplies no longer used by the government, gave about $8 million in supplies ranging from generators to pickup trucks to Alabama after the tornadoes. The agency also gave about $100,000 to Georgia, GSA Property Management Director Karen Warrior said.
"We're trying to increase the numbers because, when you have excess property, you want to use it," Warrior said.
The computers are 2 or 3 years old and formerly were used in the Atlanta GSA office, Warrior said. The computers are worth about $66,000, she said.
The school, Principal Sholl said, will split them into two mobile labs that teachers can reserve.
Andrew Pantazi is an intern at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who says that when he was 7 he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, he says he wasn't any good at hockey, so he became a journalist instead. He writes about the lives we hide, like the man who suffered a stroke but smiled, or the football walk-on who endured 5 ...