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Peavey Donates $3 Million Facility to Newton County Schools

Hartley Peavey hopes his gift of a 125,000-square-foot facility in Decatur, Mississippi to the Newton County School District will benefit students and encourage them to dare to dream big.

My public education in Mississippi opened opportunities for me to explore my interest in electronics and woodworking, said Peavey, founder and CEO of Peavey Electronics Corporation. Those skills were crucial for building the amplifiers and sound systems that put my company on the map 52 years ago and led to creating thousands of jobs right here in Mississippi.

Peavey presented the facility and 38 acres of land with lighted parking, valued at over $3 million, to the Newton County School District yesterday at the property, located directly adjacent to Newton County High School on Hwy. 503 in Decatur. The company worked with state and local officials lead by Senator Terry Burton of Newton to complete the donation. The facility will be called the Peavey Annex.

We had this facility we had vacated about seven or eight years ago, Peavey said. (The plant was vacated when operations were consolidated to the company's facilities in Meridian, MS.) We saw it sitting there and Terry C. [Burton], who has been the catalyst in all of this, suggested that I consider donating it. As we came to the end of this year, we decided that it would be a good thing to follow Terrys advice and donate it to the school.

Senate President Pro Tempore Terry C. Burton of Newton who represents Newton, Scott and Lauderdale counties said, I am grateful to the Peaveys for being willing to make this generous donation. I've spoken with Hartley and Mary about this effort for a while now and appreciate their decision. Mississippi is a better place because of generous corporate citizens like the Peaveys, and the students of Newton County schools will benefit for many years in the future.

State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright said, Successful school districts depend on strong support from their local communities. Peavey Electronics donation to the Newton County School District speaks volumes about the companys commitment to public education and its commitment to the children in the district. This donation is an investment in Newton County and the future of its students.

Innovation happens when students have the tools to pursue and achieve their dreams, added Peavey. The highest purpose of education in our society is to provide a vehicle for these young minds to discover their own talents, and to gain the skills needed to realize their potential. This facility will be an asset to Newton County schools and students for many years to come.

Peavey International Headquarters is located in Meridian, home to the companys engineering, product development, marketing, sales, warehousing and accounting departments, where Hartley Peavey founded the company in 1965. Peavey also manufactures its lauded HP2 series electric guitars and Composite Acoustics carbon-fiber musical instruments in Meridian, and exports thousands of products to more than 130 countries.

In addition to maintaining a leadership and advocacy role in the music-products industry, Peavey Electronics has supported efforts to attract investment and visitors to Mississippi over more than half a century.

The company produced the Mississippi GRAMMY Celebration series with former Governor Haley Barbour in partnership with The Recording Academy to promote the state as the Birthplace of Americas Music. The events, which showcased legends such as B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pinetop Perkins and Charley Pride, laid the groundwork for the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in Cleveland.

I would love to see a renewed investment in arts education as a result of this donation, said Mary Peavey, president of Peavey Electronics Corporation, who has served on the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Board of Directors of the National Afterschool Alliance in Washington, D.C., an initiative focused on the importance of afterschool programs for students throughout the U.S.

Music, literature and visual arts are the cornerstones of our states creative economy, which spans from the earliest blues musicians and writers through the hitmakers and visionaries of today, she added. Arts inspire the innovation our state needs to compete in the global economy and ensure Mississippi thrives for the next generations.

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