Glenn R. Jones, the benefactor behind the library at Hickory High School, has given the district $100,000 for a technology upgrade.

The school board accepted the donation last week to expand the distance learning room at the library, where students can watch lessons and programs via computer from anywhere in the world.

School officials said they are looking at expanding the distance learning room, but will need more money to do that.

�It�s very, very small,� said Superintendent Karen A. Ionta. �It�s hard to even get a class in there.�

Officials are seeking more money and putting together a plan.

�We have no idea what the costs are, yet,� Mrs. Ionta said. �There�s nothing definite. We�re just looking at everything. We�re just early, early in the discussion stages.�

Technology administrator Frank Gingras said he is excited at the prospect of adding high-definition equipment, and how the upgrade could be used to expand class offerings.

�The Great Barrier Reef has a distance learning program where you can watch a live dive,� he said. �I don�t think the school board would be willing to send our kids on a field trip to the Great Barrier Reef.�

Librarian Elma Anschutz said officials hope to undertake whatever project is decided on this summer, and have a reopening celebration before school starts in the fall.

Jones, a 1948 Hickory graduate, donated $500,000 toward the $600,000 library, which was constructed during the renovation of the school.

Jones is chairman and chief executive officer of Jones International Ltd.; chancellor of Jones International University, a cyber college; and chairman and CEO of Jones Radio Networks and Jones Media Group.

The Jones library is named after Jones� brother, William A. Jones, and sister-in-law, Sara Doolin Jones, a former district teacher.

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