Bryant gives tran­si­tion up­date to WPCSD Board

Starkville Daily News - - FORUM -

The West Point Con­sol­i­dated School District Board of Trustees re­ceived an up­date on the Cen­tral School closure and the re­sult­ing district-wide up­heaval on Mon­day night.

In an up­date to the board, Fifth Street Prin­ci­pal Richard Bryant dis­cussed some of the lo­gis­tics of mov­ing tech­nol­ogy from one school to the other. Bryant said he had been in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the district's IT depart­ment, which was ap­prox­i­mately half­way done set­ting up the equip­ment at Fifth Street. Cur­rently, all IT equip­ment has been moved to Fifth Street.

Bryant also lauded district staff for their work to­ward the move.

“I think we have a cou­ple of class­rooms left at Cen­tral to move,” Bryant said. “They're still get­ting stuff sit­u­ated. I just also want to say what a great job main­te­nance and IT have both done. It's been out­stand­ing. They've been work­ing all day, ev­ery day, even lis­ten­ing to my lit­tle re­quests and tak­ing care of those. I couldn't ask for a bet­ter job from all of those de­part­ments.”

The Cen­tral School, built in 1928, was closed in April due to struc­tural is­sues. The closure will re­quire 466 stu­dents to be moved across the district. In ad­di­tion to fifth and sixth grade go­ing to the Fifth Street Mid­dle School, eighth graders at Fifth Street will move to the West Point High School cam­pus. Sev­enth grade will re­main at Fifth Street. Cen­tral School Prin­ci­pal Wynes­ther Cousins will be­come an as­so­ciate prin­ci­pal over the north cam­pus of WPHS, where eighth grade fa­cil­i­ties will be lo­cated.

Fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of the closure, the district held a meet­ing for par­ents at the Cen­tral School to al­low com­mu­nity in­put on the fu­ture of the prop­erty.

The Mon­day board meet­ing was sparsely at­tended, de­spite past con­cerns from cit­i­zens on the ef­fect of the empty school on the sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hood and the lack of the school in the district.

Costs to re­pair the 90-yearold Cen­tral School are es­ti­mated to be at least $500,000. The district has not yet de­cided the school's fu­ture.

The board also unan­i­mously ap­proved mov­ing its July meet­ing to July 16, so Su­per­in­ten­dent Bur­nell McDon­ald and oth­ers in the district could at­tend a con­fer­ence.

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