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PRC School Board gives okay to make plans for maintenance barn

Superintendent Dennis Penton asked the school board for the Pearl River County School District at its meeting last night for permission to pursue plans for a putting a temporary maintenance barn on school grounds.

Penton told the board the school has been using parts of the transportation barn for storage of maintenance equipment and other maintenance purposes since the maintenance building was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.

“We’ve squeezed out the transportation department out of the transportation barn. Plus, we don’t have the storage space for bulk items like light bulbs and things like that,” Penton said.

Penton said Chip Berry of J. I. Luke Enterprises, the maintenance and custodial contractors for the district, had made a proposal to put a temporary storage building at the site of the old maintenance barn, and remediating what is left of the old building.

“They’re estimating about $7,500 on a temporary building, and about $8,300 to revamp what is already there. They will purchase materials for the temporary building, and provide materials for an office space, and want the school to fund the space for storage of supplies,” Penton said.

Penton said he thought Berry’s proposal was not a good idea.

“I have to say, I’m not in favor of remediation of the old building. It’s not located in a functional area, and the only reason it was in the location it was, was because originally it was placed there as part of the transportation department,” Penton said.

As an alternate suggestion, Penton said the school could develop a pad for portable units on a corner of school property that is accessible by Justin Road.

“We have 39 acres that are in an L-shape, and Justin Road cuts across the corner of our property. There is a branch that cuts across the property that prevents access to the other land from the school itself, but we can access the property by Justin Road,” Penton said.

Penton said the site has access to community water and adequate power lines, and thinks a site for temporary maintenance buildings could be developed at a relatively low cost.

The board approved a motion giving Penton permission to pursue plans for developing the alternate site as a temporary maintenance area. Penton said he could have more concrete plans to show the board by the June board meeting.

In other business, the board:

— Approved financial matters.

— Approved personnel matters.

The board adjourned until 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 2. A public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. that day on the school budget.