Charles Johnson

Adam Bakst

At Wednesday night’s Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School Board work session, Assistant Superintendent Charles Johnson said that 48% of survey respondents said building a new consolidated high school would be the best option if a bond issue was approved by voters.

The addition of a new high school was the top choice in a recent survey by the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District about what to do with the money if voters were to approve a bond issue.

At a Wednesday work session of the school board, Assistant Superintendent Charles Johnson presented results of a questionnaire that had been placed on the district’s website.

Of the nearly 3,000 participants, 48% said that if they could choose only one new school to be built using the bond money, they would opt for a new consolidated high school. A new elementary school received 21% of the vote, followed by 18% for a new middle school and 13% for a new primary school for kindergarten through second grade.

Johnson admitted that many of the participants were district students, but he said even when that demographic was filtered out, the percentages practically stayed the same — meaning that parents and community members most favored a new high school.

Johnson added that the survey is still open, so these numbers could change.

The survey was implemented after a special meeting earlier this month in which the board discussed at which level — primary, elementary, middle or high — schools should be merged and housed in a new building.

Board members were split on where to start.

Three of them — President Samantha Milton, Vice President Dr. Kalanya Moore and Jackie Cooper-Lewis — argued that building a new high school would be the best option. The other two,   Antwoine Williams and Dr. Ro’Shaun Bailey, said that an elementary school would be better.

After the discussion, the board agreed to ask for the community’s input again. The survey was the third time the board has asked for citizens’ opinions.

The board has the final decision on what building to construct; however, no matter what decision is made, a bond issue to finance the project would have to be approved by 60% of voters in an election.

After hearing the results of the survey, Moore said she appreciated seeing what others had to say.

“We just want to know where the community stands,” she said. “We always, as a board, have a duty to review the financial aspects of the bond issue. The citizens have put us in the office to make sure we make the right decision.”

Because the Greenwood and Leflore County school districts have consolidated, the voter pool would consist of people in both  the city of Greenwood and the rest of Leflore County. The board did not discuss the estimated cost of a new high school or a timeline for attempting to pass a bond issue.

Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or Twitter: @AdamBakst_GWCW

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