This marble sign, still in place, is placed to the right of the main entrance of what was originally The Econo Lodge of Murphy and Dragon Palace Restaurant, Murphy, NC. The May 1982 date marks not only the completed construction of this Town of Murphy landmark but, interestingly, also the birth date of an idea to found The Learning Center at Green Cove Road in Brasstown, NC. The school would move to the old Ogden School, then to two other locations in Murphy before purchasing the 945 Conaheeta Street Campus, first occupied in 2000. Twenty one years later, the growth in enrollment and programs now warrants an additional second campus to be located at the 78 Terrace Avenue site memorialized in the above picture.
In August 2021, The Learning Center Charter School, started renovation of the 10,000 sq. ft. ballroom level of this hotel for additional campus space. The long-term goal is to complete a full renovation of the structure creating a collaborative educational facility.
As an educator I am reminded of a Venn Diagram that has the ability to pictorially represent two circles, their differences and similarities, ultimately capturing the common elements of the sets represented by the area of overlap in the circles.
Time has brought the concept of learning into a different light. We now understand better the benefits of fluid, open space that allows students the room to create, to collaborate, to tinker, to problem solve, to impact and add value. To have two campuses that capture a strong and significant sense of place in our greater Community of Learners opens our doors to increased possibility and potential.
The differences between the two circles will disappear as a full PROJECT BLU SKY eclipse occurs. The shared similarities will still exist in the strong bones of the building and the creative community spirit infused into the space from Dr. and Mrs. Kong.