The Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School Board is poised to either sell or lease the long-unoccupied former site of a school in Money to a Leflore County business owner.

Bobby Norwood, who owns Mobile Communications, told the board during a special called meeting Thursday that he would like to either purchase or lease the property from the school district.

His business provides wireless internet for rural customers. Norwood said he wants to build a small tower there. It would cost about $10,000.

The property was once the location of Wilkes School, which was closed in 1980 because of declining enrollment, the Commonwealth reported at the time.

At one point, more than 1,000 students were enrolled at Wilkes, but that number dwindled to 137. They left a building that was constructed in 1960, with additions in 1964.

The board was not certain whether the property is on 16th Section land. It voted to assign the task of determining whether the district can legally sell the land to Kelvin Pulley, board attorney, and, if so, of drawing up a contract between the district and Mobile Communications to sell the land.  Pulley was not present at the meeting.

Board members told Norwood they would vote to either lease or sell the property to him during their meeting in October. In the meantime, they advised Norwood to send the board a proposal.

Meanwhile, the board is awaiting Superintendent Mary Brown’s signature on a contract to allow Mike Ainsworth, who owns a land management firm in Madison, to begin working for the district, said Samantha Milton, board president. Brown was not present at the meeting.  

Ainsworth appeared before the school board Tuesday to offer to serve as a 16th Section land consultant. He charges $70 per hour for his services.

The district has over 13,000 acres of 16th Section land.

In other business, the board:

• Approved two sets of donations to fund students’ $15 insurance fee to gain access to their Chromebooks.

The first donation came from Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in the amount of $240, which will cover the insurance fees for 16 students.

The second donation came from Milton and the Rev. Kenneth Milton, her husband and the pastor of Morning Star, in the amount of $150. This will cover the insurance fees for 10 students.  

• The board approved a memorandum of understanding between the district and Fluency Plus, a Cleveland-based education company, to implement positive behavior interventions (PBIS) and support program for the school district.

PBIS will help teachers learn the best practices for not only disciplining students but also rewarding them when they exhibit good behavior, Assistant Superintendent Likisha Coleman explained.  

The PBIS program is funded by a $50,000 grant from the Foundation for the Mid South.

• Approved paying outstanding invoices from the former Greenwood School District, pending verification of service and products received.

The board asked Kellia Washington, finance director, to tally  the total amount of outstanding invoices and inform the board of that number.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

The original version of this article incorrectly reported that Kelvin Pulley, the school board's attorney, had already determined that the former Wilkes School property was not on 16th Section land.

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