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Committee prepares to promote Marshall school bond issue

Friday, February 28, 2003

While the group has been active for more than 18 months, the Marshall Public Schools Facility Committee has remained largely a behind-the-scenes group. That will all change next week when the group goes public to promote the upcoming April bond issue.

Sharon Mills, who chairs the group's publicity subcommittee, said the official campaign kickoff will be Friday, March 7. She said the idea is to spend enough time to properly promote the issue without making the public tired of hearing about it.

Among the methods to be used in educating Marshall voters are in-person presentations, posters, buttons, letters and brochures.

Mills said the Marshall Lions Club, Mid-Day Optimists and Daughters of the American Revolution are all scheduled to receive presentations, and the Marshall Chamber of Commerce is another possibility. To assist in the these presentations, committee member Debra Fisher is designing a PowerPoint presentation.

Ginger McGraw reported 500 promotional buttons had been ordered. She said when they arrive committee members should work hard to distribute them among supporters in the community.

"The more people who show their support publicly, the better it will be," she said.

Site selected

The committee also heard from Superintendent of Schools Joe Aull about the selection of the Banks property as the location for the new school building. He said the Board of Education had as difficult a time selecting the site as the committee did in forming its recommendation.

"It was tough to come up with a consensus," he said.

Aull qualified his statements by saying he did not know all the reasons the board had chosen to go with the Banks land, but said he believed it was partially influenced by public opinion that the school should be built in the southern part of the city.

"It was a common theme that kept coming through," he said.

The price of the 65-acre tract of land is still unsure, but Aull said he is hopeful it will sell for less than $9,000 per acre. He said the deal was scheduled to be finalized Monday.

Facility Committee Chairman George Clemens said even though not every member of the committee was in favor of the Banks land, it was important for them to remember that the construction of the new school, not its location, is the ultimate goal.

"Let's not forget our basic premise for coming into this," he said. "I think our overall plan is so good we can overcome a few people who can't get behind the site."

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