Morgantown gets facelift, from floors to roof

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 12, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; It’s a new year, and Morgantown Elementary School has gotten a new look, with almost every part of the more than 50-year-old facility getting a facelift in recent months.

That facelift is part of a slate of improvements throughout the system, including similar upgrades at McLaurin Elementary School, said Morgantown Administrative Assistant Dana Benson.

At Morgantown, that project has included replacing outdated floor tiles and lights, reroofing the school’s gym and replacing outside windows several feet high with more energy-efficient Kelwall windows.

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&uot;They also help prevent distractions,&uot; said Principal Carla Evers. That is because the Kelwall, while letting light in, is opaque enough that students cannot see out &045; and passers-by can’t see in.

Morgantown’s teachers have even found creative ways to use the windows’ inside surfaces, writing erasable math problems in the windows’ almost notebook-sized squares, Benson said.

Although they are now mostly complete, the upgrades were made in stages. The floors were replaced about one year ago; the windows, in the summer; and the gym roof, in November and December 2002.

Restrooms were also renovated at the end of the 2001-2002 school year, and some of the school’s interior has been repainted.

But not all improvements have been on the inside. With $4,500 from United Mississippi Bank and picnic tables and chairs from Waste Management, two of Morgantown’s Partners in Education, a pavilion has been erected near the school’s soccer fields.

The City of Natchez donated the materials for the pavilion, materials from a dilapidated structure that once sat on the Natchez Convention Center site. &uot;They were just going to throw them away anyway,&uot; Benson said. The city also transported the materials to the school.

Once the weather warms up, &uot;we could take the students out there for science classes, or teachers could read to their students&uot; in the pavilion, Evers said. Nearby, the school is working to complete a nature trail to a nearby bayou for use by students and the community.