Now everyone can attend Starkville school board meetings.
At the end of a 2 1/2 hour meeting Tuesday night, the Starkville School District board of trustees voted unanimously to move their meetings from the traditional boardroom at the Greensboro Center to the auditorium beginning with the board”s July 5 meeting. The board”s June 21 budget hearing will still be held in the boardroom since previous advertisements named that as the location, but future meetings will almost certainly provide far more seating than necessary.
Board member Eric Heiselt moved to change venues so members of the public will no longer be forced to wait in the hallway at the Greensboro Center when the board room reaches capacity as it has during drama-filled meetings over the past two months.
A remnant of said drama was handled Tuesday as the board voted unanimously to begin negotiations with the Mississippi School Board Association over conducting a search for the district”s next superintendent. Board President Dr. Keith Coble spoke with representatives from the MSBA prior to the meeting and expressed his belief the MSBA will be willing to incorporate the district”s wishes to include the public in the selection process, although the extent of that inclusion was not discussed.
If contracted by the SSD board, the MSBA will vet all applicants for the position and deliver a list of all the applicants who meet the SSD board”s requirements.
The MSBA will also advertise the opening on its website, but Heiselt suggested the board consider setting aside an advertising budget to make sure the job opening reaches beyond the usual pool of candidates interested in becoming school superintendents in Mississippi.
The largest portion of Tuesday”s meeting was dedicated to prioritizing facility needs. In the end, the board voted 3-2, with Heiselt and Pickett Wilson voting in opposition, to accept Rozier Construction”s low bid of $1.53 million to construct a new field house at the high school. The board also voted unanimously to spend $482,100, plus contingency and architect fees, to install new air conditioners at the Starkville High and Armstrong Middle School gymnasiums.
Jason Browne was previously a reporter for The Dispatch.