E.A. HARROLD CLOSURE: Community addresses School Board on concerns and future of school

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By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Even before there was a Millington Municipal School district, the future and structural well-being of E.A. Harrold Elementary was a concern of local residents.
On March 10 in the Millington Performing Arts Center, those topics and others related to E.A. Harrold were the primary focus of the Millington School Board, Superintendent James “Bo” Griffin and those who attended the special public forum.
Dozens stepped up to the microphone to address board members Roger Christopher, CJ Hailey, Mark Coulter, Cody Childress, Chairman Larry Jackson, Barbara Halliburton and Chris Denson. Griffin, who opened up the forum with a statement, also appeared on stage in front of the residents and several of his employees from all four current Millington Municipal Schools.
Representation of Millington Central High School, Millington Middle School, Millington Elementary and E.A. Harrold were in the MPAC building in the form of principals, administration, faculty, staff and students.
On the table was the potential closing of E.A. Harrold by the end of this current school year. Rumors and possible plans of sending the current students to Millington Elementary and some to the home of Millington Middle School floated around.
Then Millington Middle students were share the current of high school students at MCHS.
Information about the recent history of E.A. Harrold’s structural troubles was given out to the attendees.
Since 2014, the building was in need of repairs costing about $6.7 million.
Under the Shelby County Schools banner, proposals of fixing or closing thee building were made.
Then in 2015, Millington Municipal Schools was formed.
Residents like Jeremy Hatfield expressed the need for a bond to build a new school similar to the current $60 million construction project at Bartlett High School.
Bobby Percer of Millington voiced the opinion of making sure the board makes a good decision for the long-term health of the school system.
“We need rooftops and schools are why people want to come here,” he said. Take a deep breath and come up with a plan.”
Percer noted how during the time of the information coming out about Harrold’s needs, money was spent on building the MPAC.
Susan Hatfield pointed out that there is a vacant building across the street from E.A. Harrold currently. As a real estate agent she’s afraid of another piece of blight coming to Millington in the midst of commercial development nearby.
Several current Harrold students and parents talked about the special bond in the hallways and classrooms.
Despite reports of mold and other hazards, the current E.A. Harrold family has a tight bond.
Parents of current Millington Middle children were adamant about not having their students share a campus with high school students.
Those fears ranged from student safety to culture shock for the seventh and eighth graders.
Go to: Millington-News.com