Murray students getting new high school

More classrooms are replacing books with iPads and projectors with SMART Boards, but are the school buildings changing with it? To keep up with modern demand, Murray Independent Schools is building a new high school.

Murray High School math teacher Sarah Hultman has the technology to teach, but the aesthetics of powering her equipment are a little cluttered.

“There’s a lot of things I want to use, so I need a lot of outlets,” Hultman said.

She has at least two working outlets and several surge protectors now, but will have more outlets and extra room for more smart technology once she gets a new classroom.

“I think everyone gets really excited when you hear about a new building,” Hultman said.

Murray High School was built in 1970. That’s why the district is tearing down its vocational school and putting a new library, offices, and classrooms in its place.

“I think I’ll be able to reach them using different activities in the classroom, because I’ll be able to manipulate my classroom a little more,” Hultman said.

Murray Independent Schools Superintendent Bob Rogers says, once the teachers and students move into the new building, the existing classrooms and offices will be torn down except for the cafeteria and two gyms.

“It should be state of the art, as much as we can afford anyway,” Rogers said.

Rogers says architects told him rebuilding costs are about the same as renovating.

“They say the wiring, the plumbing, even the walls and the doors, the windows, all of that needs to be replaced,” Rogers said.

The project is expected to cost $16 million. The money is coming out of their building plan fund. He says most people don’t realize districts have a separate budget for these projects funded by portions of the area’s property tax. It doesn’t come out of a school board’s education budget, and the state will match some of the funding for the new building.

Rogers hopes to have the new classrooms ready by the fall of 2017.

Murray Independent Schools is also building a new technology center to replace the vocational building being torn down for the new high school. It’s jointly owned with Calloway County Schools, allowing students from both districts to attend.

Murray Independent Schools receives funding from the Calloway County School District for students who are zoned for Calloway County but go to Murray schools. Part of that money is being used to build the technology center.

Rogers says the modern equipment, along with new programs, will make their students more competitive.

“We think it’ll get a lot of interest from the kids and, with the new program and so forth, we think that will be a plus for the entire community,” Rogers said.

The center will be about a mile away from both schools. The technology center is expected to open this fall, as long as weather doesn’t postpone plans.

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