Written By Chelsea Pacheco and Gabriella Vigorito
Photos By Meg Falcone, Chelsea Pacheco and PawPrint Staff
This upcoming year The Morgan School located on 27 Killingworth Turnpike will be knocked down and replaced by a new high school down the road. On the site of The old Morgan School will be retail stores, restaurants, a hotel and residential units. Clinton Selectmen Will Fritz approved the sale of The Morgan School for $2.8 million. The move to the new Morgan School will cost $64.7 million.
Here at The Morgan School, whenever a teacher retires, a chair is customized for him or her. It is engraved with his/her name, the Morgan logo, and the person’s department. Although, the teachers did not get to take the chairs home, the chairs stayed in the school for the memory of that teacher. These wooden chairs are placed throughout the school. For example, there are four chairs in Mrs. Hagness’s office, 4 in Mr. Webb’s, and a bunch spread out in other areas. The chairs are going to be sold to whomever in the school is interested in them. The chairs will first be offered to the teachers themselves, and if they do not want them, then there will be an auction held. “There are about 70 chairs in this school right now that will be sold in the upcoming months” Mrs. Hagness says.
In the new school, mostly everything will be new. A few weeks ago, the teachers placed what they want take to the new school on a list. Superintendent Jack Cross came to every room to see what teachers wanted to bring; in order to keep an item, teachers had to put a yellow sticky note on the item, number it, and fill out a sheet. Mrs. Hagness states “I want teachers to have all new supplies. The teachers are basically going to have the same materials in their classrooms. I am only letting certain items come with us.”
Every classroom will have interactive whiteboards, document cameras and teacher laptops. Plus each student with be provided with a laptop or other device for them to use throughout the year. All the desks and materials we have now in the old building will be donated to the children in Africa who do not have nice desks, let alone any desks. Nothing from Engineering Teacher Larry Chapman’s workshop will be taken to the new school.
There is a lot to look forward to in The new Morgan School. Principal Keri Hagness describes the new school as having more of a campus feel. She explained how the administration has been looking at many different options in terms of furniture for the new school. To get the students input, on Wednesday, October 7th, Mrs. Hagness brought three different chairs into the cafeteria for students to try out. She had them sit in all the chairs and had them tell her which ones they liked the best. She kept a tally, and will consider the students’ feedback when she is ordering the chairs for the new school.
Each room seats 24 people so they have been looking at all kinds of options such as bar high tables and chairs with wheels. Some tables even have white boards connected to them on the sides. Teachers will also get all new desks and chairs. They will find ones that have lots of drawers but don’t take up a large amount of space in the room. Also there will be all new computer labs and collaboration zones for students. These collaboration zones will have soft seating and will hold 55 people.
The cafeteria will be more like a college food court with more food options. Mrs. Hagness said they were looking at having all different size tables in the cafeteria. Some will be bar height, or some will be circle tables similar to a college campus setting.
In the new school, we can hold large sporting events in the new gym like CIAC basketball games. The new bleachers will be more comfortable, and they will be easy to slide in and out. Also in the auditorium, there will be balcony seating that wraps around the stage. It will seat hundreds of people and will look like a theater. Mrs. Hagness wants the new Morgan to be more environmentally conscious. So in the future we are going to try to recycle in school. Also there will be lots of windows in and outside classrooms. Seniors will get a private tour of the new school since they will not be able to attend it. They will get to see the new classrooms that their children could be in one day.
In the new Morgan, there are going to be many features for sports and athletic related activities. For football, the team always has to get on the bus to go to their home game at Joel. Getting all the boys on the bus is a waste of time when they could be practicing and getting prepared for their game. At the new school, there is going to be a path from Morgan to Joel so the boys can get right into game mode. Also, track was another sport that was affected. For practice, the track team has to get on the bus to go to Joel’s track, and there are a lot of track members. The time it takes to get all of the members on the track team to Joel is at least a half hour, but with the new Morgan, the track is right in our backyard. With the path from Joel to Morgan, almost all of the sports team will have easier transportation.
They are making many new fields at the new Morgan as well. We are getting new new softball fields, field hockey fields and lacrosse fields. Plus they are building lit tennis courts. Now we will have the new tennis courts plus the ones at Joel school. Now with all the new fields being built and with all the fields at Peters Complex all students will have a nice easy time getting to their sports practices and games.
Many are asking if the old Morgan building is being knocked down right away. It is not. The staff of Morgan will hopefully start moving into the new building by the end of June to get all the materials ready for the students.
Whoever bought the property of Morgan is in control of knocking down the building and cleaning up the space. In the old Morgan building, there is a Time Capsule somewhere in the building. “I am not sure as to where the time capsule is” Mrs. Hagness reveals, “we have a thought of where it might be from the notes from when the building was first built. We are going to start looking.”
Moving out of this building will be hard with all of the memories inside of it. So to help that, Mrs. Hagness wants to possibly have a day to “say good-bye” to the old building. She is not exactly sure what the school/town is going to hold, so she is accepting suggestions, ideas and thoughts. What she really wants is the alumni (including teachers who have retired) to definitely be a part of this day of remembrance.
We will also have fundraisers held in the old school to help raise money for the new school. For example, an idea that is floating around the school is having the kids paint their lockers. The students are going to pay $5 to paint their locker and after the year is over, they can take their locker with them in memory of their time at the old Morgan. “I am very excited for that,” reveals Mrs. Hagness. “The students should and will have a fun time decorating their locker. Their creativeness can come out in school.”
Mrs. Hagness wants our advice! So if you have some thoughts on end of the year fundraisers, or if you know any way to say goodbye to the the old building, comment down bellow this article so your voice can be heard.