Thursday, February 14, 2013
City school district wants land swap/referendum
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs School District has proposed to build a new intermediate school on property near the primary school on Maury Street.
The deal would involve a land swap between the city and the school district and construction of a new school, according to superintendent of education Irene Walton Turnage.
She and the entire school board of trustees appeared before the board of aldermen last week to discuss the prospect of getting a school bond placed on the referendum in this year’s municipal elections.
Turnage said the present intermediate school facility is to the point that major work would have to be done to renovate the old structure, which has leaky roofs and is not equipped for modern technology.
The cost to renovate the old Sims School, on West Valley Street, is about the same as the cost to build a new one, she said.
A Memorandum of Understanding was on the agenda at last week’s meeting. If approved, the plans could go to the next step.
Mayor Andre’ DeBerry said there would have to be a bond issue to pay for the new campus and a resolution to put the referendum on this year’s ballot.
Some possible uses for the old structures, he said, are:
• a place for a boys or girls club to meet.
• a place to take overflow from the Eddie L. Smith Multi-Purpose Building on North Memphis Street.
• a place to train fire and police department employees.
• a space for expansion of the Information Technology program.
He said many people who could use the old buildings already live in the vicinity.
He said relocating the intermediate school to the Maury Street area would bring the three school campuses nearer and allow for the city to seek grants for safe routes to school projects.
DeBerry said if the board gives the nod, the school district could get to work on feasibility studies and soil testing on land south of the primary school.
He said the new school was listed as a critical need in the city’s updated Comprehensive Plan.
The board voted to approve a MOU for the land transaction between the city and the school district.
Following this motion, the board of aldermen passed a motion to reappoint Margaret Delashmit to the school district’s board of trustees.
Other trustees include president Fergenia Hood, Paul Lampley, Micheal Crittle and Ray Von Autry.
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