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More than $350,000 pledged to Hagerstown arts school

October 28, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN -- More than $350,000 in donations have been pledged for the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

That includes the school's largest single donation to date - a $150,000 gift to support the performing arts high school's special programs.

The donation from the Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Foundation includes naming rights to two offices on the first ($25,000) and third ($25,000) floors and the sculpture and ceramics conservatory ($100,000), according to Dale Bannon, Director of System Development for Washington County Public Schools.

The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts building is undergoing renovations on South Potomac Street and is scheduled to open in August 2009.

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Six naming rights to specialty rooms have been secured.

Bannon said the school's foundation is now seeking donations to support the school's operations, and is hoping to raise $5 million over the next year. The money raised will not be spent on construction, but instead will go to support other expenses, like supplies, materials, adjunct instructors and supplies for low-income students.

There are set amounts for naming rights for areas in the school, with the most expensive being the dance theater with a $1 million price tag. The least expensive is a dance theater chair, which costs $150, according to a brochure.

Lee Stine, president of the Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Foundation, said the foundation is named for his mother, who died last year. Stine said his mother wanted the majority of her estate to go to arts education for youth in Washington County. Agnita Stine lived in Washington County and supported the county's museum of fine arts and other local arts organizations.

Lee Stine said his mother did some sculpture work when she was in college, and he thought it would be appropriate to name the sculpture and ceramics conservatory after her.

Stine said he and his wife also made a donation to the school.

"We think the (school) is another gem in this county and will go a long way to give our students a more well-rounded education," he said.

Stine said his foundation wanted to make an early donation and encourage others to come forward.

Bannon said the foundation knows that given the current economic crisis, it is clear that the campaign goal might take longer to reach.

Jeannette Rinehart of Hagerstown gave a $25,000 gift to the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts to name the preproduction preparation room after her late husband, Theron Rhinehart. Rinehart said her husband was extremely interested in theater, a passion that was nurtured by Innes Boyer, Rhinehart's teacher at what was then Hagerstown High School.

"(My husband) knew nothing about drama or art or music and she opened the eyes of a whole generation of students in Hagerstown," Rinehart said.

She called the performing arts high school a "wonderful thing for the community."

"I'm elated to be a part of it," Rinehart said. "And I'm sure Theron would be, too."

A group of former Washington County students also is raising money to purchase naming rights in the school in honor of their former orchestra teacher, Marvin Hurley. Hurley taught at North and South Hagerstown high schools, among others. The students have raised more than $20,000 so far, and are hoping more donors step forward.

Bannon said the foundation is grateful for all of the support the school has received.

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