The Murray Board of Education voted Wednesday night to close the district's Parent Resource Center, a lending library of educational toys and equipment, because of space problems and the center's under-utilization.

"It's not in my nature to want to give up anything, but under the circumstances it seems the thing to do," Superintendent Ronald Stephens said as he urged the board to disband the center.Started more than a decade ago, the center has been used by parents and preschool and early childhood education teachers from throughout the valley. Center patrons pay a small yearly fee for the privilege of being able to borrow the items.

Board member Joyce Anderson said Murray was the state's first school district to receive a grant to fund such a center when it opened. In the early days, it was heavily used by parents because it was run in connection with parent-skill classes and a preschool. However, when it was moved to its current location at Liberty Elementary School, the parent-skill classes and preschool were dropped, and interest in the library dwindled, she said.

Stephens reported that only about 50 members pay the yearly fee, but it costs the district $3,500 to operate the library. In addition, it is located in the Liberty Elementary School, which is scheduled to be demolished next month, and the district has no available space in which to relocate it, the superintendent said.