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Washington College Academy receives lifeline from the State


Staff Writer

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After a wind and hailstorm ravaged the historic campus of Washington College Academy, Nashville knew this was their call to help.

Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City), and Representatives Rebecca Alexander (R-Jonesborough) and Tim Hicks (R-Gray), presented a check for $75,000 to Washington College Academy Thursday, Aug. 26, to assist in repairing damages to Tennessee’s oldest school.

The grant came from the Tennessee Department of Economic Development.

The school was founded by the Rev. Samuel Doak in 1780, and offered many years of accredited college. Now, the historical institution is known as the Washington College Academy for Arts and Crafts.

“The roof was really, really badly damaged; it leaks like a sieve,” President of Washington Academy Dr. George Blanks said. “It rains right now, the water just comes in. We’re worried about mold, damage to the buildings. It really is a bad thing.”

Hail pounding into the brick buildings caused another issue for the school.

“The storm broke more than 200 windows in five buildings,” Blanks said.

Nearly 170 of the shattered pieces of glass were in Temple Hall, where the check presentation took place.

“We want to build this school and get it back to its former self and the glorious self that it was,” Office Manager Jennifer Rasnake said. “Just seeingpeople say ‘Yeah, we’re here to support it. We’re here to get you guys back on track,’ that just means the world to us.”

Crowe is a former student of Washington College Academy. His mother and grandmother attended the school as well.

“As a former WCA student, I know firsthand the historical importance of our state’s very first

school,” Crowe said. “I am very proud we were able to provide this assistance from our great state to help repair and preserve our state’s first school.”