December 10, 2015

Minutes of the December 10, 2015 Meeting of
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 12:15 PM by club president, Robby McClure. Les Greer offered the invocation followed by Larry Sindel leading in song accompanied by Bill Oppenheimer on the piano. Tom Martenstein welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians.
Announcements: Robby McClure made the following announcements:
• Thanked Laura O’Connor, Douglas Kearley, Barney March and Tom McGehee for their assistance with yesterday’s Children’s Christmas Party.
• Reminded members of the Old Spanish Trail Rotary Smoker taking place tomorrow here at the Battle House in the Oakleigh Room.
• Recognized Tommy Zoghby as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Ken Niemeyer reminded the group that he is collecting books for school children from Kindergarten to the third grade for the lending libraries Rotary is sponsoring.
Bo Mattei made distributions from the Rotary Children’s Foundation to representatives of the Mobile Infirmary, United Cerebral Palsy and MARC.
Program: Hidden Gems in our Neighborhood: Murphy and McGill
Cart Blackwell introduced two of our club members: Nick Holmes, III and Bry Shields.
Nick Holmes began the program with a power point showing the renovation of Barton Academy, the adjoining Yerby School as well as the repairs and renovations to Murphy High School following a tornado.
Barton Academy, he explained, had last been painted in 1970 and was in terrible condition. Photos showed the repairs made to the dome and replacement of missing columns and capitals. When the new windows were seen in the Yerby School behind Barton, members of the school board agreed to a change order to replace those in Barton as well. The new windows are all impact resistant he said.
Nick explained that the work at Murphy High School is about 70% complete and includes a completely remodeled kitchen and new air-conditioning throughout. Dropped ceilings were eliminated with the new air-conditioning and all wood trim has been refinished. The auditorium’s roof was replaced and its interior is now being restored to its late 1920’s appearance.
Bry Shields then discussed the many physical improvements being made to the campus of McGill-Toolen where he said the school motto is “Knowledge for the Love of God,” and where his students are expected to achieve the highest level possible. He said that McGill has invested $30 million in improvements over the last 20 years.
His power point program showed the school’s new science building, the Moorer Technology Center, the Banks Harris Track facility, the Lipscomb Stadium Complex, as well as the Crow Fitness Center. When the band hall doubled in size he said that the size of the band doubled as well.
In July of 2016 the new student center and dining hall will be completed. He said that the architectural style of the Spanish Colonial is being used to blend in with the surrounding buildings which include St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the original Toolen High School which was completed in 1928. That same style of architecture had been employed by Murphy High School just two years earlier, he added.
Robby McClure thanked Bry and Nick for talking to the club and said that in their honor a donation has been made to the Fuse Project of Mobile. The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.
Tom McGehee