Poplarville school board readying for new year

Published 3:34 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In another short meeting, the Poplarville School Board continued clearing the way for the start of another school year.

With the opening of school scheduled in less than two weeks, the main items handled were a special events’ agreement with local law enforcement and advertising for bids for additional security cameras. Both were approved after a brief explanation from Superintendent Carl Merritt.

He said the events’ agreement with the Poplarville Police Department to provide security might have to be adjusted later to reflect a change in the rate of pay for city officers. He said the city has been anticipating for a while that there would be an pay increase for police personnel, which would require amending the amount paid for security at special events, such as football games.

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Asked if security arrangements would change because of the stadium, Merritt said a walk-through with school officials, city police and the sheriff’s department is planned in about two weeks.

Asked about the start of home football at the end of August and the completion of the on-campus stadium, Merritt said “it looks very good.” He did say there was some uncertainty with installation of various items such as lighting.

Regarding the security cameras, Merritt said that because of the school’s design there is a section of the high school campus, the commons area, that is not easily visible from the highway or Jacobs Road.

He said after a two-year review by the school, 90 percent “of all the mischief on that campus is coming from that area you can’t see.” He said a camera security system is the only way to secure that area.

The system will involve about 40 cameras and will cover both of the academic wings in addition to the commons area. The estimated cost is approximately $30,000 and that was included in the budget, Merritt said.

Another item Merritt said that visitors to the high school and upper elementary gymnasiums will notice is the air conditioning of both facilities has been completed. He said this improvement should make attendance at events more comfortable for parents and other visitors.

The board also approved various handbooks for faculty, staff, athletics and transportation. The student handbook had been approved at a previous meeting.

In other matters, the board approved:

— A timber sale on 16th Section land.

— Resignations and other personnel matters.

— The consent agenda.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at the district office.