by Hunter Dawkins

The Harrison County School Board of Trustees awarded a bid of $90,000 for the Turkey Creek area in Gulfport owned by the county school district at the monthly meeting Monday night.  Since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, this location has gone through a demise without the resources.  “This is a liability on the school district,” said Harrison County School Board Member Dr. Barbara Thomas, who represents the community.  “That is why we need to sell instead of lease.”

Beginning the meeting, school board insurance representative Frank Bordeaux advised that most of the school district’s revenue comes from gaming and asked to be a part of the budget hearing to explain where the market was at the time.  After, Harrison County Student Services Director Dr. Laretta Marks and Assistant Superintendent Mitchell King explained the behavior modification of the school district along with an East-West plan for Drop-Out prevention.

An interesting discussion was given about the new utility and easement plans with the city of D’Iberville, as the plans for location of the new east Harrison County Middle School.  In November 2018, county residents approved the school district receiving $55 million dollars in bond money to construct two new middle schools for the West and East sides of the county.  West Harrison Middle School in Gulfport has begun construction and set to be completed by August 2021.

In other actions, the county school board unanimously authorized payment to Hardy & Associates/Architect for replacing the West Harrison High School Turf at $12,512.50 and a $533,903.82 payment to Wharton-Smith, Inc. for West Harrison Middle School Project.  Additionally, the board authorized federal programs to pay spring Dual Credit and Advanced Placement fees for students eligible though Title IV, free and reduced meals.

Finally, in an inquiry about public commentary, Harrison County School Board President Rena Wiggins mentioned a change acknowledged by the Mississippi School Board Association.  Due to potential litigation in public comments on personnel matters, the public is asked to request comments and reasons to be placed on meeting agendas.

Superintendent Roy Gill was absent from the meeting and the next is scheduled for February 10 at the Henry Arledge School District Administration Building in Gulfport.