MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) The Mobile County School Board and local lawmakers will petition the Alabama Legislature in the upcoming session to appropriate funds to restore Murphy High School.
School administrators estimate that restoring the historic campus, and making it viable for generations to come, could cost upwards of $50 million.
Murphy High School was badly damaged by an EF-2 tornado that hit Mobile on Christmas Day, causing millions of dollars in damages. More than a month later, the damage to Murphy High School is the main topic of the annual meeting between local lawmakers and school administrators in Mobile County.
"It was good to hear the legislators talking about some possible work to provide additional funds," Mobile County Schools Superintendent Martha Peek said.
As originally promised, school administrators said the necessary repairs to bring Murphy High School students back to campus in August will be made. The repair costs and money spent to facilitate the students on the Clark-Shaw Magnet School campus will be covered by the school system's insurance; and estimated $11 million.
The next tier is to renovate the campus; bringing the historic buildings up to code. School leaders estimate that would cost around $35 million.
The school hopes to allocate funds to restore the campus; refurbishing everything that makes Murphy so unique, and making the school viable for generations to come. School officials said that would cost $50 million.
Rep. Randy Davis (R-Baldwin & Mobile) said they will ask the legislature to appropriate money from the Public School College Authority, a fund that all counties pay into, to the MCSB for Murphy High School.
"The insurance was not adequate enough to fulfill what we feel like's necessary to rehab Murphy," Davis said.
It would be the first major legislative appropriation of its kind since lawmakers gave $32 million to rebuild Enterprise High School after a tornado flattened its campus in 2007, killing eight students.
Though fortunate that Murphy students were safe at home Christmas Day, Rep. Davis said that fact will play into how much help Murphy will receive.
"Do we want to do a school that's over-the-top? Yes," Davis said about the $50 million restoration project. "Do you think we'll ask for that? I don't think. We'll look for a moderate appropriation. Otherwise we won't get it."