There's a long-established history between Iron Range mining companies and investments in education. It looks like U.S. Steel is taking that connection into the future.

Officials from U.S. Steel announced their donation of $350,000 to the Virginia School District; the money will be used to build a new gymnasium for Rock Ridge High School.  With the donation will come the naming rights, with the new gym being known as the U.S. Steel Gymnasium.

According to a story from our news partners at WDIO, the investment gift solidifies the value that U.S. Steel sees in the communities it serves.  U.S. Steel plant manager Travis Kolari shared:

"U.S. Steel is pleased to support the development of the new Rock Ridge High Schools, which will serve our valued communities and many of our employees' families. This relationship is important to us.  We look forward to many exciting events at the U.S. Steel Gymnasium."

The new Rock Ridge High School is currently under construction.  Officials hope to have it ready to open in the fall of 2023.

Rock Ridge serves students from the surrounding communities of Eveleth, Gilbert, and Virginia.

U.S. Steel's donation is part of the Rock Ridge Rising fundraising campaign for the new school which brings together the communities of Virgina, Gilbert, and Eveleth.  More than just a fundraising body, the aim of the campaign is to alleviate the potential rivalries and boundary distractions from merging the school districts. A narrative on their website details the thrust behind the effort - speaking directly to the three communities that are now merging together for their education system:

"Please look past the boundaries of where you graduated from, and join us in creating the best school on the Iron Range.  Our mission is to create incredible people of high character who can positively contribute to society"...... "Let's rally for the future, forever remember the past, and help create a school so we can all be very proud to say we are from the Range.  Ultimately, we are all "Rangers" and are all very proud of that."

For more details about the Rock Ridge Rising campaign, click here.

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