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(Placed on the National Register of Historic Places June 21, 2004)

Evolution of Campus & Buildings
Evolution of Campus & Buildings
Pete Adams, 2012

A facility study done by the Georgia Department of Education was completed on August 22, 1983. This plan projected that the enrollment at Murray County High would exceed 1,000 during the 1986-87 school year. This study identified only twenty-eight standard size classrooms and showed that sixteen more classrooms would be needed. The projected cost for the new classrooms was $ 1, 165,100. This plan also identified $ 210,410 being needed for renovation, and an additional $ 201,320 needed for modifications for a total cost of about $ 1.6 million.

Murray County High School had many additions since the original building opened in 1934. In 1949 a gymnasium was built. In 1950 four classrooms were built adjacent to the gym. In 1956 twelve additional classrooms were opened along with a lunchroom and two Home Ec. rooms. In 1964 a new Industrial Arts building was erected. In 1974 a new vocational wing, Media Center, and offices were constructed. In 1976 a new lunchroom was built. In 1980 two new Home Economics rooms were built. The question for the Murray County Board of Education (BOE) and administration was whether to keep adding on to an old school or whether to build a new one.

In 1984 the Murray County BOE hired Lowell Kirkman as an architect to explore their options. On September 24, 1985 the Murray County BOE voted to apply for forward funding from the Georgia Department of Education to secure the majority of the funding for a new High School. When advised that this was a possibility, a new Facilities Plan was requested and done. The total state dollars available for this project was $ 5,494,400 with a required local minimum of $ 739,393. After the Georgia State Board of Education approved the forward funding the Murray County BOE voted on December 9, 1985 to officially contract with Kirkman & Associates from Dalton as the architect for this project. Before he could do much work a site had to be picked. At the Feb. 17, 1986 Board meeting the Superintendent announced that the Georgia Department of Education had approved a site owned by the school system across the road from the old Rock Building and on April 17, 1986 the BOE voted to use this site to build the new High School.

Other significant dates in moving this project from dreams to reality include the following:

    1.    On October 21, 1986 the BOE approved the tentative drawings for the new school.

    2.    On November 17, 1986 the BOE voted to transfer $ 720,000 from the General Fund to the Capital Projects account.

    3.    On May 18, 1987 the BOE awarded the grading contract to Drew Construction Company of Wildwood, Ga. at a cost of $ 381,999.

    4.    On October 5, 1987 The BOE awarded the construction contract to Hudson Construction Co. of Chattanooga, Tn. at a cost of $ 6,274,131. (Several change orders were added as the building progressed to bring the total building cost to $ 6,353,591. Architect's fees, grading, and furniture brought the total cost to about $ 7.5 million).

    5.    In September of 1989 the new school built for 1500 opened and soon became overcrowded.

    6.    On November 15, 1994 the BOE voted to contract with the firm of Jennings and King from Dalton, Ga. to do the architectural work for an addition at the High School,

    7.    On July 25, 1995 the BOE accepted a bid of $ 699,230 to build eight regular classrooms, two science classrooms, an office, teacher workroom, and restrooms.

    8.    The new addition was completed and opened in August, 1996.

The building that opened in 1989 contained sixty one instructional units and has 152, 860 square feet of space. This included 12 English classrooms, eight Math, eight Science, eight Social studies, three Fine Arts rooms and an auditorium, fourteen business & vocational classrooms, four Special Education rooms, two ROTC, one Media Center, and one gym with a weight room. With the ten rooms that opened in 1996 ( 11,662 square feet) there are 71 instructional spaces. There are four sets of bathrooms in the building along with handicap facilities on the Special Education hall and the restrooms in the gym.

Enrollment continued to increase to over 2,000 and during the late 1990s eight mobile classrooms were placed in the gym parking lot and used. Around 2002 five more mobile classrooms were placed in front of the school. The decision was made to build a second high school and North Murray High was born. During the first year (2008-09) 9th and 10th graders from the North end of the county were housed in the old High School. The new facility opened in 2009. The enrollment at Murray dropped under 1,000 during the 2011-12 school year when North Murray had its first Senior class.

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