Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Generous anonymous grant allows construction to continue

Keith Mackay, president of State Stone, is preparing rock to be replaced in the front gable of the 121-year-old Oneida Stake Academy Building. It will feature the name of the building engraved into the rocks, as it appeared originally.

June 24, 2011

The Oneida Stake Academy Foundation (OSAF) received today a gift of $100,000 from the family of a Preston High School alumni who wishes to remain anonymous. This is the initial installment of a larger gift promised by the family, said Nathan Hale, chairman of the board of the OSAF.
The gift qualifies the foundation for an additional $50,000 from the Murdock Charitable Trust, of Washington. These matching funds were promised to the foundation in 2008 upon meeting the Murdock Trust’s match requirements.

This $150,000 will be used by the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation to repair the front fa├žade of the building, which fell out during an earthquake in the 1960s. The building’s name, once etched into that portion of the building, will be matched by master stonemasons under the direction of Keith Mackay, of State Stone in Salt Lake City.

Stone to be used for the project is either reclaimed from that earthquake’s rubble or was taken from the academy’s original quarry on a hill north of Franklin by Mackay a few years ago.

Among other clients Mackay works extensively with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on their stone-laying projects. He was the project stone coordinator in the reconstruction of the Nauvoo Temple, which was dedicated in 2002. State Stone repairs and maintain the stone in older buildings such as the Manti Temple, and have restored the stonework on several historical chapels.

He directed the repair of the damaged corner on the Oneida Stake Academy in 2006. Mackay, now in his 80s, is passionate about his craft, and the Oneida Stake Academy holds a special place in his heart. He is the nephew of OSA alum, Harold B. Lee, and spent much of his youth in the Lee home.

“I want to see that building done,” he said. He spent much of his own funds to obtain the rights to quarry the stone for the academy's repairs.

The board members of the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation are thrilled with the financial support just received, and invite other Preston High alumni to join the cause.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Oneida Stake Academy Foundation and sent to P.O. Box 555, Preston, Idaho. At present, all funds raised will be pooled to meet the requirements of an additional $50,000 from the Murdock Trust.

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