By Lena Mitchell
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH – The Corinth city board has postponed a decision about how to dispose of three school campuses whose ownership returned to the city after the Corinth School District discontinued using them.
The board heard two proposals for use of the East Corinth and West Corinth campuses at the regular mid-month meeting last week, and also will consider a request for continued use of the South Corinth campus by the nonprofit Easom Outreach Foundation. The board tabled action on all requests.
Mayor Tommy Irwin said it is unlikely further board consideration will be scheduled before the new year.
Superintendent John Bundy of Shiloh National Military Park, and retired superintendent Woody Harrell, presented a request in conjunction with the Siege and Battle of Corinth Commission that the West Corinth property be donated to the National Park Service. Since the property is a battlefield site, they propose to extend the interpretation of Civil War events in Corinth beyond the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center that is across the street from the campus, to include events that occurred on the school site.
As chairman of the Mississippi Municipal League Legislative Committee, Irwin said he is pushing for legislation that will allow municipalities to hold elections in which citizens can vote for a slight increase in sales tax to pay for infrastructure improvements.
He told the NPS representatives that the property is an asset the city needs to use to generate revenue, and he would oppose giving the asset away when the city is using every possible means to bring in more funds for its needs.
Gentry Parker and Shane Castleberry of North Corinth Christian Academy also reiterated an earlier request to use the East Corinth property to establish a private or charter school that addresses a segment of the school-age population who are currently not in school. Students from the current North Corinth Christian Academy campus also would be relocated to use a portion of the building, and a local program for autistic children would be established.
Irwin said he would like to see a detailed proposal that shows how the school’s operating costs would be supported if the city were to authorize such use.
The Easom Outreach Foundation has been in ongoing discussions with the school district and recently with the city to continue operating its feeding programs and other community activities at the South Corinth site, an idea which Irwin said he personally supports.