MURRAY — Murray Community School District is ready to take the next step forward.
In a Feb. 5 special election, a vote passed with 257 yes votes to 75 no votes to contract indebtedness and issue general-obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $2.085 million to provide funds to construct, build, improve, furnish and equip an addition to the existing facility and site.
“I’m very pleased with the election results,” said Murray Superintendent Alan Miller.
Miller added, he also knew the importance and impact of the election with the down economy at the state and federal level.
The district is in the process of negotiating contracts with architects. Bid letting will begin in the spring and groundbreaking is scheduled for summer.
The plan is to move into the new addition during fall 2014.
The goal of the entire renovation project at Murray is to repurpose space.
The renovation project includes many new things for the school building. The educational wing will have two science classrooms with an expanded lab. The lab will be large enough to put in several lab tables.
Right now, the school’s lab is small for all of the needs of the students.
There will also be two math classrooms.
Included in the design plan is a multipurpose gymnasium with a community room next to it.
The gym at Murray is wood, and is in need of constant maintenance. Every year, between $1,600 and $2,000 goes toward the gym floor’s upkeep.
The multipurpose gym with room for 150 spectators may be used for physical education, junior-varsity games, junior-high games, varsity and junior-high volleyball.
Varsity basketball will still have to be scheduled in the school’s current gym because it is the only area large enough. The current gym, which was built in 1957, will still be the school district’s main gym.
In the new renovation area, there will be two restrooms that will each have four stalls. The restrooms will also be used during the day for students.
There will be two locker rooms, most likely to be used as junior-high and, potentially, varsity-football locker rooms.
In addition to classroom and gym space, Murray has a need for expanded cafeteria room. Currently, the school is running four sections of food service starting at 10:40 a.m., which is often considered early for lunch.
Currently, when people enter the school building, the corridors are tight, so there is a need to expand and widen the area.
Previously, Miller has said there’s no definable entrance to the building, so the plan is to put in a defined office area in the front.
There are also issues with outside traffic circulation because the main driveway gets easily congested. The plan is to put in a road at the back of the building to extend all the way or part of the way to First Street.
Students who ride buses could be picked up at the back of the school, to avoid traffic crossing in the front of the school.
The district is looking into relocating the playground because students have to walk through parking lots. The playground could be right next to the elementary school and fenced in.
Miller said he’s had the privilege of attending numerous community meetings in Murray to discuss the renovation project.
He said he was proud to see people have positive attitudes and a focus on the future of students at Murray.
“I believe it shows a strong confidence for the Murray Community School District,” Miller said.