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Vote in favor of Morgan school project

Our school needs your help. Morgan Elementary has a long tradition of service to our school community. The academic success of this school is well known. These efforts resulted in the school being designated a Blue Ribbon School. We were very excited when our school board recently decided to expand and renovate Morgan Elementary. Preliminary drawings were presented last March. The architects then met with all of the faculty and staff this past spring for detailed input on more complete plans. The school has helped thousands of children grow, learn and become successful. Now the school needs you. We are asking that you help our school by signing the YELLOW petition forms in favor of the renovation of the Morgan Elementary School.
Why should you support Morgan Elementary?
Morgan Elementary needs to be renovated. This is the one fact that we believe everyone can agree upon. Morgan is one of the oldest school buildings in Southern Indiana. It is the only elementary school that has not been renovated. We are literally teaching kids in closets, mailrooms and hallways. We have considerable issues with the office location, cafeteria size and classroom space. We had over 500 students in the building last year. While the growth is wonderful, the space limitations are becoming critical. Our maintenance and custodial staff have done a wonderful job of keeping our facility well-maintained. However, the reality is that our building is in need. We are at a point where our space limits what we can do to assist our children. Our current facility is simply too small to meet the current and future needs of our students.
We recently moved a portable classroom from the main campus to Morgan. However, this is a short-term fix to a long-term problem. The gym and surrounding classrooms were built in 1951. Many of those rooms are less than 700 square feet. The cafeteria was added in the late 1960s for a student population of just over 300 students. There are times when many of our students spend more time standing than eating. We do not have adequate seating, serving or storage capacity. We do not have a functional workroom. Physical therapy and other special services are offered in a phone room. The last significant renovation to our school occurred in 1975 when the library was added. We have classes in former closets, and any small group instruction has to take place in the busy hallways. There can be no question that our building is inadequate to meet the needs of all our students. This building project is the right thing to do for the present and future students of Morgan Elementary.
Safety and security are a major concern. Student safety and building security are issues that need to be addressed. Our office location does not allow us to see the entrance to the building and has no secondary exit in cases of emergency. Our building was built at a time when communities did not have to think of such matters. The parking situation at our school is, to put it mildly, horrible. If you have ever been here for a special event or ball game, you know what we mean! In addition, the parking lot presents the school with the considerable challenge of keeping the children safe during arrival and dismissal. The buses need to be isolated from the cars. With our current parking configuration, this is not possible. This renovation will provide an increased level of safety and security for all of our students.
The Morgan project is tax neutral. Your taxes will not go up for Morgan Elementary. The school board has pledged that there will be no tax increase for Morgan. Any potential increases will be matched by a lowering of the taxes in other areas. In addition, the high school will be paid off in the near future. These facts, plus the recent legislation passed by the state to lower property taxes, means that your school property taxes will be much lower than they are presently. It is estimated that every home, business and farm will save over $500 per $100,000 of assessed value. This is with both North Harrison Elementary and Morgan Elementary calculated in the rate. Furthermore, recent reports show that construction material costs are rising dramatically each month. Taxpayers will save a considerable amount of money by building at this time.
A group has chosen to challenge the construction project in the form of a remonstrance. This means we will have a signature race. The side with the most signatures wins. The state mandates that those in favor of helping the Morgan students have YELLOW signature petition forms. Many people in the North Harrison school community will be carrying these yellow forms. In order to sign or carry a petition, a person must reside in the North Harrison school district. They must also be a property owner or registered voter. This ‘race for signatures’ will take place Aug. 28 through Sept. 26.
We are asking for your support. Please sign YELLOW forms in favor of the renovation of the Morgan Elementary School. If you do not feel that you can sign for Morgan, we respectfully ask that you do not sign against us. School personnel are not allowed to use school resources to assist in this process, so it will not be a part of any newsletters or school promotions.
We plan to host a rally and cookout for Morgan on Aug. 29 starting at 5:30 p.m. in the grassy area next to Morgan. (This is county property. School property cannot be used for this event, and it cannot be held in conjunction with any school activity.) We will have information, yard signs, petition forms and food. Please plan to stop by on the way to the football game. You can pick up a yard sign, a hot dog, bag of chips, soft drink and sign a yellow petition for Morgan, all in one stop!
If you have any questions about Morgan Elementary or this process, you may contact any of our officers or our principal. Mr. Richards’ home number is 364-4958. We can also be contacted at [email protected] The Morgan PTO is sponsoring this effort to advocate for the students of Morgan. This is an important time for our school. Our students and teachers need and deserve your support. We ask that you please sign YELLOW forms in favor of the renovation of the Morgan Elementary School.
Editor’s note: Officers of Morgan Elementary School PTO are Lisa Murner and Sheri Ness, co-presidents; Martha Maiers Tillquist and Holly Troncin, co-vice presidents; Cynthia Nellums, secretary; Angela Coleman, treasurer; Katherine Badger, teacher representative; and Lance Richards, Morgan Elementary School principal.