Meeting questions Mooreville projects

Lee County StockBy Chris Kieffer
Daily Journal

MOOREVILLE – Turnout was higher on Thursday during the second of three public forums to discuss the Lee County School District’s upcoming bond vote, but a new concern also was raised.

About 50 people attended the meeting at Mooreville High School’s cafeteria, including school district employees. That number was higher than Monday’s crowd of about 30 at Saltillo High School, even though Mooreville is a smaller area.

Superintendent Jimmy Weeks discussed various construction and renovation projects that would be funded if voters approve $13.5 million in new bonds on July 30. For the proposal to pass, 60 percent of voters must say yes. It would not raise taxes because it would replace a 1993 bond issue that expires.

Some of those in attendance on Thursday said they agreed with most of the projects proposed, but wished more would be done at Mooreville, which would get about $1.4 million worth of work.

That would tear down a metal building at the front of the school; replace two old concession stands with one new one to serve baseball, softball and the band; expand the visitor’s football bleachers and possibly add a road to ease traffic congestion. Rest rooms also would be renovated.

“It is hard to swallow seeing plans for everyone else being great and ours being confined to visitor’s bleachers, a concession stand, a turn around and taking down a building,” said Jeremy Martin. “…I’m not saying I’ll vote against it, but that is the disappointment I’m leaving here with.”

Chad Wills said he didn’t want Mooreville to be forgotten.

“The biggest thing is the people of Mooreville would like to thank Mr. Weeks and the leadership for their hard work,” he said. “We are not against any other school, but our children are also in need, and we’d like to have our fair share too.”

Weeks said the timing was right for the district to request new bonds because interest rates were low and taxes would not increase. He said the district actually would get more money from this issue than from the 1993 bond issue it is replacing, which netted $13 million. Needs were determined by a facilities study conducted by Pryor & Morrow architects, he said.

“I think the meeting went well,” Weeks said. “We had some questions and people voiced concern and displeasure. We go back to our facility study and that was what was deemed as the biggest needs in the district.”

chris.kieffer@journalinc.com