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Schools get $1.2 m gift from plant operator

Posted by Sean Teehan  December 21, 2010 10:46 AM

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Salem Public Schools received a $1.2 million donation from Dominion New England, the company that owns Salem Harbor Power Station.

Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, Senator Fred Berry, and Representative John Keenan accepted the check in a ceremony yesterday.

Dominion donated the money to fund math, science, technology and engineering initiatives for students in first through eighth grade, according to a statement issued by the company.

Among other initiatives, the money will go toward funding Nature's Classroom, a three-day or five-day retreat where students learn about nature, according to the statement. It will also help fund FIRST, a robotics program, the statement said.

"We intend to treat this generous donation as a legacy gift that will ensure sustainable programming in these areas for many years to come," Driscoll said in a statement.

The donation comes about a month after a Dominion official said the company expects to close the Salem Harbor Power Station within five years. Driscoll later told City Council members the power plant's closing could have "a significant impact" on tax payers.

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