Heritage High School (HHS) Principal Ronnie Bradford submitted a letter to Catoosa County Schools Superintendent Denia Reese and the Board of Education requesting a loan of $50,000 to purchase new uniforms for the school’s band.

At its March 6 meeting, the school board approved the loan. The total cost of the uniforms, according to the letter, is $77,545. The band booster club had already raised over $27,000 toward the cost and plans to conduct fundraisers to pay back the interest-free loan over the next five years.

Bradford said in the letter that the loan would be repaid in increments of $10,000 a year, $5,000 each December beginning this year and $5,000 each May.

"Band uniforms are usually a 10-year investment," says HHS Band Director Blair Callaway, who designed the new uniforms.

The school will be purchasing 185 uniforms that include jackets, trousers and shakos (hats) with plumes. Callaway says he decided against the citation cords – the rope-like loops on the shoulders – that were on the last round of uniforms in order to save on costs.

The last time Heritage purchased band uniforms was when it opened its doors as a new school in 2007.