School board to sell Magee Elementary property

By PAT BROWN,
The Simpson County School Board has decided to move ahead with the disposal of the former Magee Elementary Campus in Magee.
Part of the issue is the ongoing upkeep and the cost of keeping the property insured in the future.  
The board has also discussed a potential development prospect with the City of Magee.  While no official decision has been made, the city appointed a three-member committee with Alderman Patrick Brown to contact the school district about the possible development project.  
School board attorney Wesla Leech said that no portion of the facility is now needed or to be used in the future and the board okayed advertising it to the highest and best bid offered.  The board stipulated that it did not necessarily have to be the best bid, which may allow the City of Magee the opportunity to acquire the property.  
Parts of the property would most likely have to be taken down and there is always the concern as to whether asbestos was used in the construction.  This in turn could make demolition a highly expensive consideration.  
Two different parents approached the school board about their children transferring to Mendenhall and then being ineligible to play football.  The students had previously played in Magee and wanted to transfer.  One of the parents stated they should have been attending Mendenhall because of where they lived. 
A complaint was filed with the Mississippi High School Activities Association and they ruled the students could not play in Mendenhall.  It was pointed out the complaint did not go through the central office but rather straight from Magee to the association.  Superintendent Paes said he had to follow the directive of the association.  
School board member Lillie Hardy challenged whether the association had the authority to make the decision and expressed she felt it was a school board decision.  The board said they would take the matter under advisement.  
Both parents who spoke to the board stated that the decision was based on academics rather than sports.  The transfers were approved however playing sports was not.  
Duane Fewell, director of finance, reported that unless something unforeseen happens that the school budget for the upcoming year will require no additional tax increase over the previous year.  The budget request is $9,206,701.64.  
Elizabeth Christian, director of human resources told the board with the exception of one position which is expected to be filled this week all positions have been filled in the school district.  The board expressed their appreciation to Christian.  
Members of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority made a presentation to Felicia Moore, teacher at Simpson Central.  The presentation was several boxes of school supplies to be used for her classes and students who may not be able to afford supplies.  
Superintendent Greg Paes reported that there was a successful grand opening for the new Magee Elementary School facility.  He reported there are plans to host a ribbon cutting for the Mendenhall Field House and Band Hall on Friday, August 25 at 10 a.m.   Paes stated the public was invited to attend the event.