Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

December 2, 2012

At bankrupt Lon Morris, buildings frozen in time

JACKSONVILLE — The grounds of the oldest junior college in Texas appear to be frozen in time. They're deserted, but otherwise little-altered as they wait to go on the auction block.

The Tyler Morning Telegraph (http://bit.ly/TAk4Uv) reported Saturday that books still line the library shelves at Lon Morris College.

At the theater building, sheet music and pianos occupy one classroom, while signs designate "cheerleader seating" in the gymnasium, where green-and-white banners still showcase the success of the basketball program at the United Methodist school in East Texas.

Inside the cafeteria, athletic uniforms and cheerleading items are on tables, along with framed theater photographs and a certificate marking Lon Morris' 130th anniversary.

The only occupied facility on campus is the administration building, where a limited staff continues to work. All of the buildings will go on sale when the college auctions off core facilities Dec. 13 in Dallas, as part of bankruptcy proceedings.

Located in Jacksonville, about 125 miles southeast of Dallas, Lon Morris suspended classes in August after the U.S. Department of Education decided not to allow students to use federal aid there. Federal statutes disqualify schools that file for bankruptcy.

About 100 students were expected to attend Lon Morris this fall, and now other East Texas community colleges have stepped in to help accommodate them.

A few years ago, the two-year college reinstated its football team after a nearly 70-year hiatus in hopes of saving the school from mounting debt by increasing enrollment. Instead, Lon Morris was burdened with waves of new students who couldn't pay their bills and overwhelming football expenses.

The debt topped out at more than $20 million, according to court documents, forcing administrators to furlough almost the entire faculty.

Now, the school is about to auction off property that encompass about 112 acres of academic halls, student housing and athletic facilities, according to an auction brochure.

Lon Morris has about 50,000 square-feet of academic lecture halls, about 95,000 square-feet in student dormitories, an athletic training complex, a gym and multiple playing fields, the brochure states.

"There are so many things this group of buildings can be, just depending on what ultimate configuration it ends up," Carl Carter, spokesman for AmeriBid, the company auctioning off Lon Morris' facilities said.

Lon Morris Chief Restructuring Officer Dawn Ragan said some personal property will be auctioned with the buildings. Other items may be purchased by other schools, while some things the school is hoping to return to donors, and still other things will be made available to the alumni and local community.

___

Information from: Tyler Morning Telegraph, http://www.tylerpaper.com

 

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • 7-23-14 pianos main.jpg Public pianos invite players

    Corsicana has always been a musical town, with emphasis on country and western, rock and roll, bluegrass and Gospel, but now the parks and recreation department is moving towards bringing music to the masses in a different way. They’re going to put pianos downtown, on the sidewalks for anyone to play at random.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Navarro County 4-H Club holds event

    Texas A&M AgriLife Extention will hold Summer Exploration Days at the Navarro County Expo on Tuesday, July 29 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

    July 22, 2014

  • New date for IPL Job Fair announced

    Tarrant Regional Water District IPL (integrated pipe line) Project will hold a Job Fair from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 at The Cook Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Making voting easier

    A new county-wide voting system would let voters cast a ballot at any polling place on election day, eliminating the need to drive to a specific precinct to vote.

    July 22, 2014

  • Aaron Tidwell Tidwell tapped for top Mildred High post

    A baseball coach at heart, about a year ago Aaron Tidwell began to seriously focus on education administration. He just didn’t think an opportunity would present itself so soon. Mildred Independent School District board members approved the 31-year-old Corsicana native as the high school’s new principal Monday night.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • OCIW treasure Mantle worthy: Oil City presented with Texas Treasure Business Award

    Maybe Oil City Iron Works is worth double the treasure. After all, the local icon honored Monday with a state award for employers in business for 50 years has actually been around for 128.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7-22-14 meth raid.jpg Five arrested in meth raid

    The Corsicana Police Department executed a raid on an alleged meth house Saturday afternoon, and it was done in about 45 minutes, all but the paperwork.
    “That part is on-going, reports and follow-up,” said Police Chief Randy Bratton on Monday.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Perry orders 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to border

    AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry says he's deploying as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border after growing tied of "lip service" from the federal government.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7-19-14 plane leaving.jpg F-4 jet leaving Navarro College for new Florida home

    It stood for years in front of the Cook Center at Navarro College. Now, like so many “retirees,” it’s Florida bound.
    It took several days to partially dismantle the F-4 Phantom fighter jet enough to travel, but it was done this week.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mildred to consider Tidwell as principal

    The Mildred Independent School District Board of Trustees will consider appointing current baseball coach Aaron Tidwell as the new Mildred High School principal when the group meets in regular session Monday.

    July 20, 2014