Norfolk Southern Gives Over $1M to East Palestine Schools, Fire Department

ATLANTA – Norfolk Southern Corp. announced Friday that it is donating an additional $300,000 to the East Palestine City School District.

The company said in a news release that it is donating the funds to support the school district’s academics, athletics, extra-curricular activities and its long-term contingency planning regarding the impacts of the Feb. 3 train derailment. East Palestine Elementary School, East Palestine Middle School and East Palestine High School will receive $100,000 each.

Also on Friday, Norfolk Southern reimbursed the East Palestine Fire Department about $825,000 for fire equipment used in the derailment response. This follows a $220,000 reimbursement to fund new equipment for the first responders.

The donation to the schools comes after Alan H. Shaw, Norfolk Southern’s president and CEO, visited the village Tuesday, where he heard concerns from school officials. He met with Dwayne Pavkovich, athletic director and assistant principal; Sarai Dutton, principal of the elementary school; and Tony DelBoccio, principal of the high school.

One area of concern was the cancellation of athletic events as a result of the derailment.

East Palestine schools have been cleared by local, state and federal officials to safely host athletic and extracurricular activities, but schools outside the district have forfeited games that were to be played within the district. The cancellations have caused a loss of revenue for East Palestine sports programs and neighboring businesses.

“As soon as I heard that the East Palestine Bulldogs were not able to play in revenue-generating games, we took immediate action to help this community,” Shaw said. “We continue to be committed to helping East Palestine residents get back on their feet. We are in this community for the long haul, and our goal is to see the community thrive again.”

Pictured at top: East Palestine High School. (East Palestine City School District)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.