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Museum, AM/PM feel effect of school move
January 31, 2005
by James L. White, Times Staff
Some people never really think about how much impact a school has on the community.
Two groups in Harrison are thinking about what's about to happen when the Harrison School district moves from the current Central Elementary building to the new Middle School on Goblin Drive at the end of next week.
At a Harrison Board of Education meeting earlier this month, board member Bill Boswell asked Superintendent Jerry Moody about the status of the Boone County Heritage Museum, which is housed in a district building.
The building has also housed Central's computer lab, but when the move is made the building will no longer be needed.
Dr. Moody told the board that night that the district does own the building and is paying utilities. However, he said he hopes to have a proposal for the board at its February meeting.
Norman Rowe, president of the Boone County Historical Society, said he's not certain what will happen to the Museum now.
"We don't know," he said. "We wished we did."
He said the Museum is in its 18th year of operation. The district has been kind enough to allow the Historical Society to use the building for free.
After students and teachers move to the new facility, the Museum will take over the computer lab room, but the remainder is in question.
Rowe said that the district gives the museum a year-to-year lease, although he doesn't ever recall any money ever changing hands.
The Historical Society could seek grants, but in order to do that they must be able to show some sort of ownership or lease arrangement for the building, Rowe said. He went on to say that he has spoken to Dr. Moody a couple of times, but for now he is waiting to see what will happen. "That's the only thing we can do," Rowe said. "We're on hold."
Dr. Moody told the Daily Times that he hopes to have a resolution to present to the board in February.
The other group that will see a problem after the move is one that's also in its 18th year of operation: AM/PM Care, Inc.
The program, which provides before and after school care, as well as some full-day care, for children in the area, is an acronym for Anxious Mothers/Peace of Mind. AM/PM operated in the old band hall at Central for several years, but was forced into the main building at Central in 2001 after space requirements required the district occupy the building again.
Marq Walker, AM/PM board president, said the idea behind the program is that parents can drop kids off long before school and the program continues to operate until 5:45 p.m. "Another thing that sets us apart is that we've been open on days when the school is closed, except for extreme weather," Walker said. "We haven't closed but for maybe 10 days in 18 years for extreme weather," said Patty Herrin, AM/PM administrator.
After the move from Central to the new Middle School, AM/PM will no longer have a place to operate. "There will be no provision made for AM/PM," Walker said. She went on to say that the program has always existed by the "good graces" of the school and wished to express gratitude for all the district's done over the years. She said AM/PM doesn't generate enough income to facilitate buying a building.
Herrin said the district has been more than generous in supplying buses to drop kids off at the school and maintenance for both grounds and buildings. "We would not have been able to operate had it not been for the school," Herrin said. She said the program will cease operating at 5:45 p.m. Monday. They've tried to locate a new place to house AM/PM, but so far those efforts have been fruitless. Herrin said the process has almost been like a divorce with children going to foster homes. "It's been tough to let go," she said. "My kids are torn up; the parents are torn up; my staff is torn up."
Both Walker and Herrin had hoped a civic or church group might offer some facility, but so far that hasn't happened. Herrin said there's only one thing that might help keep AM/PM open past Monday afternoon. "A miracle," she said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Anyone interested in contacting the Heritage Museum can call (870) 741-3312. AM/PM Care, Inc. can be reached via phone at (870) 741-6820.
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