MORGAN -- Although the Morgan Education Foundation is close to meeting its goal to raise $400,000 for a new physical education facility, dubbed the Trojan Century Center, recent changes mean even more money is needed.
"I am pleased to announce that the generosity of local residents and businesses has brought in close to the original target of $400,000," Superintendent Ken Adams said in an email. "Changes and city requirements have increased the need to $580,000."
In 2010, the district secured $4 million in low-interest bonds supported by the Federal Qualified School Construction Bond for construction of both a high school physical education facility and district bus garage. The bonds carry an interest rate of less than 1.5 percent.
The federal money wasn't quite enough to cover the district's entire wish list, so the nonprofit Morgan Education Foundation stepped in and began a fundraising campaign.
"We are also seeking $35,000 in donations to enhance the transportation facility," Adams said. "We are still vigorously seeking financial support from our community and surrounding areas for both projects."
Transportation facility enhancements still needing funding include painting the inside ceiling of the garage and placing steel siding on three sides of the bus canopies. In addition, district officials were required to use a different material for a waterline, make other changes to meet the requirements of the fire marshal and raise the elevation of the center.
Holcim Cement, one of the county's top employers and taxpayers, donated cement powder to both facilities to save the district money.
"Their participation in the project will go a long way in our goal of constructing a first-class facility for our youth," said Scott Deru, Morgan Education Foundation past president.
Operation Graduation also turned over $12,000 in certificates of deposit to the construction efforts. In the future, the group hopes to use the physical education facility as a central location for its annual events on high school graduation evening.
The boys' basketball and cross country teams also have gotten in on the action, sponsoring fundraising events to benefit the Trojan Century Center.
"I am so appreciative of the many, many people that have given of their time and money to help this become a possibility," Morgan High School Principal Wade Murdock said. "It is just another example of just how supportive this community is of our schools."
District officials hope to reward the contributing public with access to the new facility.
"The board wants the public to have access to the building as much as possible," Adams said. "Hopefully, the track will be open to senior citizens and others during slow or nonschool usage hours. If demands allow, the facility could possibly also be rented out for family and groups usage."