PHOTO BY BART MOSS - TES Assistant Principal Tyler Berryman, State Rep. Jamie Kiel, TES Principal Molly King.

Kiel helps obtain funds for TES bleachers 

State Rep. Jamie Kiel helped obtain $20,000 in RC&D funds to equip Tharptown Elementary School with new bleachers in its renovated gymnasium.

In the early 1960’s, the first stand-alone gym was built at Tharptown. The original wooden bleachers had been used for thousands of basketball games and other events. After 60 years of use, the bleachers were showing their age and in need of replacement.

According to Tharptown Elementary principal Molly King, with the financial support of Kiel, the RC&D and the Franklin County School Board, new bleachers were purchased and installed in the Tharptown Elementary School gym.

King said assistant principal Tyler Berryman, Coach Joseph Brown and Coach Heath Boyd refinished the gym floor during the summer of 2022. This was made possible through donations from Kiel Equipment, Home Depot, North Alabama Chemical and the donation of hours of time.

“With the new bleachers and refinished floors, we are excited to have the gym ready to serve our students and our community,” said King.

Kiel, who grew up just steps from the school and gym and attended the school, said the project looked great and he was happy to help make the restoration complete.

“Mrs. King and Mr. Berryman and their staff have done a wonderful job renovating the TES gym,” said Kiel. “It’s the gym I played basketball in 35 years ago, and it holds many fond memories for me. It still had the original bleachers, so I contacted superintendent Greg Hamilton to see if I could assist with new bleachers that would make the gym more usable for the school and community.

He suggested the type of bleachers, and I was able to secure the funds. I love Tharptown and was so glad to be able to help.”

Hamilton said the work done to the Tharptown Elementary gymnasium has been a collaborative effort led by TES administration.

“I am very appreciative of all the hard work done at the Tharptown Elementary gym by Mrs. King and Mr. Berryman,” said Hamilton. “The gym is a longtime staple of the Tharptown community and has served thousands of students over the years. I thank Rep. Kiel for his efforts to secure funding for the new bleachers as well. He knows personally how much that gym means to the community.”

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