PRC School Board makes policy change, hears bond update

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2019

During the Pearl River School District’s Board of Trustees meeting, a variety of matters were discussed including an update about construction projects ongoing as part of the bond.

Last year, an $18.5 million bond was passed by local voters to fund a number of construction projects within the District.

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Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said the project will add a number of new classrooms, renovate the cafeteria by adding a kitchen and dining space and a construct a new library at the elementary school campus.

Lumpkin said work at the Carriere campus will entail construction of three new buildings that will add classrooms, a new library, a 1,000 seat auditorium, a band hall, and other additions.

The construction projects are currently underway, and led to the discovery of an issue at the elementary school campus.

Warren Bowen, Executive Director of Triage Facility Consultants, said when construction began the contractors noticed that a lightning strike had severely damaged the fire alarm system throughout the campus.

Bowen also said it is currently unknown how much of the damage will be covered by insurance and how much will have to come directly out of the District’s pocket. Discussions are still taking place to determine the outcome.

During the meeting, the Board passed a motion to allow Lumpkin to transition from an elected position to an appointed position as superintendent.

That motion was required due to SB2438 being signed into law earlier this year, which requires all superintendents to be appointed instead of elected.

The Board also approved a motion to continue the District’s relationship with Poplarville School District that provides 12 student slots at the PRC Endeavor School for Poplarville students.

One of the last motions passed during the meeting entailed changes to the District’s “Smoking & Other Uses of Tobacco” policy in which the verbiage regarding the restriction of the use of “vapes” was added.

Lumpkin said this was a necessity because of the new devices they’re seeing especially on their middle school and high school campuses.

“That terminology started as e-cigarettes and are now vapes and we have to continue to review policies to keep new devices off campus,” Lumpkin said.