Lee Schools to host bond forums

Education stockBy Chris Kieffer
Daily Journal
TUPELO – The Lee County School District has scheduled three public forums next month to discuss its request to borrow money to fund various campus renovations.
Voters who live in the district will decide on July 30 whether to approve a $13.5 million bond request.
First, they will have an opportunity to hear from district officials about their plans. Forums will be held on July 15 at Saltillo High School, July 18 at Mooreville High School and July 23 at Shannon High School.
Each forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will feature drawings with the district’s plans for construction and renovation.
“It will be an open forum,” Superintendent Jimmy Weeks said. “We will deliver a presentation and tell what it is we’re looking at, and we’ll give time to ask questions and make suggestions.”
To pass, the bond request must be approved on 60 percent of the ballots cast. It would not raise taxes because it would replace debt from a 1992 bond issue that comes off the district’s books in August.
If the bond issue fails, homeowners’ taxes would decrease by about $40 on a $100,000 house.
District officials noted plans for how they would use the funds have changed some since they originally announced them. The biggest difference is that Shannon Middle School students would not be moved to Plantersville, as originally planned. Instead, there would be an expansion on the Shannon campus that would include a new cafeteria, two-story classroom building and decorative entrance to the football stadium.
“We have more accurate information of what we will do on each campus, and we want to get that information to people in the community,” said school board president Sherry Mask.
Other plans include new classrooms at Plantersville, Saltillo High School, Saltillo Primary and Guntown Middle. A loading dock would be added to the district’s central office, several older buildings would be torn down and many campuses would receive fresh coats of paint and other renovations.