Officials say bond issue won’t raise taxes
The Kemper County School District unveiled its plans for a new upper elementary school building during a public meeting last Thursday night at the John C. Stennis Vocational Center.
The new building will be for grades 3-6 and will replace the current Kemper Upper Elementary building located in DeKalb. The current school building is 60 years old.
The school district is asking for the passage of a $12 million capital improvement bond issue. The money will be used for constructing the new school.
The capital improvement bonds represent an extension of the current millage in place. With the current interest rates, school officials say the bonds represent a projected neutral tax impact to the taxpayer in Kemper County.
In other words, the bonds which will be sold on a 20-year plan, will not cause property taxes to go up.
The vote on the bond issue will be held August 5. The polling place will be at the Kemper County Wildcat basketball gym.
The building will be located on land currently used as the football practice behind the Kemper County High School gym. It will face west. It is one floor with wings running off a central hall.
The new school will house approximately 320 students. It will consist of 16 state-of-the art classrooms. It will also have four specialty classrooms, an art room, a music room, a self-contained classroom and a gifted classroom.
There will be a multi-purpose room and a school cafeteria.
In the center of the new school will also an administrative area located which include offices and support areas. There will be a receptionist area at the entrance of the building so traffic in and out of the building can be monitored. There is also a teacher’s workroom, a nurses station and storage area.
There will be covered walkways at the drop-off areas for students who come by car and those who ride the bus.
“This is not a situation of us saying, ‘hey, we want a new school,’” said superintendent Hulite Hudson said. “You have two elementary schools. One was built in 1961 and the other built in 1967. We are talking about being in need of a new school.
“Our children deserve a new school. They deserve a building that when it is raining, they don’t have to worry about getting rained on inside. They deserve to not have to worry about getting cold in the winter. This has been an extensive process for us before we even came to the public. We have gotten to a point where ready to move forward.”
Pryor Morrow Architects Engineers of Tupelo presented drawings and plans for the new school.
Hudson said there will be more public meetings to discuss the bond issue and plans for the new school. Those will be announced on the school Facebook page.