Jackson County School District hoping to get bond vote for school upgrades

Jackson County School District hoping to get bond vote for school upgrades

JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Jackson County School District is hoping to make some improvements to its schools and are hoping they can use a bond to pay for the upgrades.

A new heating, air conditioning, and ventilation system are a few of the many upgrades that Superintendent Dr. John Stryker says is needed in his district. Many of the buildings were built 60 to 70 years ago, said Stryker, noting that it’s time for improvements to be made.

“We have buildings that were built, I think, in the 1950s and 60s that we still use. Facilities that we are still using. So obviously there are improvements there that can be made,” said Strycker. “In each attendance center - Vancleave, East Central, and St. Martin - there are older buildings that basically just need updating. They’ve been taken care of but they need updating.”

The school district paid around $200,000 to an outside company to conduct a facility and demographic survey. The surveys determined what buildings are in need of improvements and how much those upgrades would cost.

“It gives you an objective number of each facility in our county,” said Stryker. “The initial cost to repair our facilities, you’re talking $40 or $50 million. So the need is there and that’s an objective number.”

The board of education will discuss the results of the surveys on Dec. 3. Stryker hopes the school district will be able to move forward and allow the public to vote on a bond this spring. The bond would pay for the improvements and allow the district to make all of the upgrades at one time.

“It would be an election and it should be. If I’m raising your taxes, I need to go to you and say, ‘Here’s why I’m raising them. Do you agree yes or no?’”

Stryker also says the district will hold several community meetings to hear input from residents of Jackson County.

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