By Eileen Persike
The School District of Rhinelander Board of Education Monday night voted to accept a $10,000 donation from the Hodag Schools Foundation and $90,000 from an anonymous donor for updates to the Rhinelander High School auditorium. At the same time, the board also approved naming rights for the auditorium.
District Superintendent Kelli Jacobi said this is something the HSF and foundation member Sue Makris in particular, have been working on for a long time. The naming rights will be a surprise for the donors’ parents.
“There are restrictions on this donation,” Makris said. “The money must be used for the auditorium and also it must include the establishment of a maintenance or enhancement fund. That’s kind of a nice and unique thing.”
Operations and Strategic Planning committee chair Mike Roberts said many of the items in the auditorium are things that wear out or become outdated with new technology, and this donation and fund created with it make sure updates continue so the district is “ahead of the curve.”
The vote to accept the donations was unanimous with one abstention.
“I’m uncomfortable with the idea of having an anonymous donor get naming rights without knowing who we are going to give those to,” Dennis O’Brien told the board. “I’m sure this is a wonderful program and I’m glad it will get $100,000 for the school, but if the KKK were to get naming rights, I would not be in favor of that.”
The donor will be announced at a later date.