The Blue & Gold Room of the Medallion Restaurant was filled to capacity on Thursday, November 17, to hear reports from the executives of the Promise Foundation and Alderson Broaddus University. 

Jeff Woofter, left, and Dr. Tim Barry, right, provided a status report on the work of their respective agencies.  The Promise Foundation is a 501c3 organization responsible for the construction and maintenance of the new athletic complex at Philip Barbour High School.  Alderson Broaddus is a University of over 1,050 students with 8,000 alumni, 300 on the payroll, and an economic impact of up to $ 80 million.  The number of employees at ABU is only second in the county to those employed by the Barbour County School system.

Woofter explained that the Promise Foundation has five members onits Board of Directors, two from BC Bank, two from the county schools, and one representing the community.  He said that the involvement of the 501c3 foundation saved more than $ 1.5 million in construction costs, and allowed for local contributions of cash and in-kind materials.  “Now that the fall sports are about over,” said Woofter, “we are preparing for the spring."  There are currently a number of repairs and improvements being made to the spring sports facilities.

One of the significant improvements has been made in the new concession stand,” said Woofter, “allowing for more efficient tracking of inventory and sales, and reducing the responsibilities of the volunteers from the Booster program who manage the facility.  Woofter also discussed the new A-F grading system recently introduced by the state department of education.  “There has been an improvement in school rankings in most of Barbour County’s schools,” he said.

Reviewing his first 50 weeks as President at Alderson Broaddus, Dr. Barry reported that the university has come to an amicable agreement with its bond holders, and is working on a 5-year recovery plan which includes representatives from the state, county, and city.  “We have a great relationship with the public schools,” said Barry. “We provide college credit for upper-level high school students, and we are currently exploring a collaboration on transportation to and from the university.

The new Optometry Program will require an upgrade to the former Broaddus Hospital on-campus, and has received accreditation at the second of three stages of approval,” Barry said.  “Twenty-nine students are anticipated to start in the program in the fall of 2017.  We also have two Masters-level programs in the works, one an Anatomist program which will be of help to all of our medical programs, and a new on-line Master of Education program.  We have just completed a formal accreditation visit, and are waiting for the results,” he said.