Gayle Wahite, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 17, 2009
Morris Brown College still has water. “It will keep flowing,” vowed interim president Stanley Pritchett on Tuesday after the historic black college scored an extension on a deadline to pay its past-due bills in full or lose its water service.
School officials paid Atlanta Watershed Management $150,000 Tuesday afternoon.
The college has paid a total of $250,000 and agreed to pay the remaining $65,000 within 30 days, Watershed Management Commissioner Robert Hunter said in a statement after receiving the payment. “We are glad that Morris Brown can remain open and continue its reorganization efforts.”
School officials said donations had come in from board members, faculty, staff, alumni and students.
Students raised $6,000 Tuesday by stopping cars to ask for money, Pritchett said.
As officials scrambled to avert the loss of water on campus, they faced a new lawsuit in Fulton Superior Court over claims of another unpaid bill.
General Electric Capital Corp. filed suit Monday against the college for $382,355 plus legal fees, alleging breach of contract for failing to keep up payments on a dozen pieces of office equipment.
Pritchett estimated that the college needs about $1.5 million to settle immediate debts, and $30 million to ensure its longer term survival.