Ringgold Middle School gets new computers after tornado

Ringgold Middle School gets new computers after tornado

October 12th, 2011 by Andrew Pantazi in News

Seventh-grade girls at Ringgold Middle School line up around two new computers to ask Shyam Reddy, the regional administrator of General Services Administration, questions after the presentation of over 50 computers as part of the federal Computers for Learning program Tuesday at the school. Most of Ringgold Middle School's computers and equipment were destroyed by the April 27 tornado. The program will help the school and students recover from the disaster.

Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

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/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."

Testing problems

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.

$66,000 gift

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.