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Water Back on at Morris Brown; Still In Deep Financial Trouble

Morris Brown College raised enough donations to pay off its $380,000 overdue water bill, but that’s not the only financial crisis facing the 127-year-old college.

On Tuesday, Jordan Hall, which contains classrooms and the Ruth Hall Hodges Art Gallery, is to be auctioned on the Fulton County Courthouse steps to satisfy several liens against the property by the city of Atlanta, a real estate broker and a plumbing contractor.

Acting President Stanley J. Pritchett Sr. said negotiations continued with the bond holder to delay the sale.

Morris Brown, a historically Black college founded by former slaves, has struggled to stay afloat in recent years and is recovering from a 2002 embezzlement scandal that brought the institution to the brink of extinction.

The city shut off the school’s water on Dec. 15 after it failed to make scheduled payments.

To pay its water bill, the school has raised over $125,000 in recent weeks through a grass roots campaign seeking donations from the community and across the country.

On Saturday, Terrence McKenzie, 13, donated a bag containing $100 in quarters because his mother had gone to the college.

Lawyers for Morris Brown successfully petitioned a judge on Friday to intervene in the matter, and the city agreed to turn the water back on before classes are scheduled to resume on Jan. 9.

That decision will allow the dorms to open on Saturday. More than 240 students are expected to return to campus.

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