The new Morrison Elementary School groundbreaking ceremony Thursday drew a large crowd of Morrison teachers, students and residents, along with county and state officials, to the facility’s future location just off Highway 287, also known as Five Mile Road.
The project is being financed by a $9.2 million zero interest Qualified School Construction Bond through the state utilizing ARRA money. The county had applied the first year of the program but was not chosen. However, after being contacted by the state in year two and reapplying Warren County was awarded the zero interest bond.
Morrison principal Kim Cantrell opened the ceremony with a history of Morrison School and an emotional expression of appreciation to everyone involved in the financing and planning of the new facility, which will begin construction in the near future. Morrison Ruritan Citizen of the Year Wilmus Bouldin provided the prayer.
“We’re really excited,” Cantrell said. “To see that finally after all the hard work, all the meetings we’ve been to, that this project has come to fruition.”
Cantrell says the objectives for the new school are simple.
“The goals are to provide a safe environment for our kids,” Cantrell said. “A place where they can come and feel secure, appreciated and inspired to learn.”
Cantrell said she and her staff are certainly looking forward to the increased space and technology, but noted that brick and mortar doesn’t teach the child.
“It’s not just the building,” Cantrell said. “It’s the people you put inside it who are really important to these kid’s education.”
County Executive John Pelham talked about the team effort that had gone into putting the project together.
“I want to thank our commissioners for all their hard work and support,” Pelham said. “We couldn’t have done it without them.
“When you look around and see the kids out here and their excitement and how much we know this is going to do for the community,” Pelham continued. “It’s been two years now that we, the county court, the school board and the community have all been working toward this conclusion. It’s definitely been worth it.”
Director of Schools Dr. Jerry Hale echoed Pelham’s sentiments, literally and succinctly.
“Ditto and Amen,” Hale said with a big smile.