CLINTON, MS (WLBT) - Early numbers show overwhelming support for the $25 million Clinton school bond.
Of 2,369 votes cast, 2,133 voted in favor of the bond issue and 107 voted against, a 95 percent approval rate.
“With the passing of this bond issue, it shows that Clinton is looking toward the future and is willing, as a community, to improve the facilities where we are shaping our children for their futures,” said Dr. Tim Martin, superintendent of schools. “It is wonderful to see our community coming out to support the district so strongly.”
With the passing of the issue, district administrators are aiming to have construction start in early spring 2019, beginning with building new Career and Technical Education classrooms and labs at the main CHS campus.
“We are communicating with representatives from Continental Tire about what their needs are and we will tailor our programs to create career pathways for our students,” Martin said.
Through the summer of 2019 expansions are slated to begin on Clinton Park, Lovett, and Eastside Elementary and the CHS band hall, all areas where the number of students has outgrown the space available.
Following completion of the new CHS Career Complex classrooms and labs at the main campus of CHS, the district will begin renovating the old CHS Career Complex to accommodate Clinton Junior High’s fine arts programs and elective courses.
In the summer of 2020, improvements are set to renovate the CJHS administrative offices and convert the old offices into much needed classroom space. All construction is set to be completed by fall of 2020.
“We appreciate the support of our school district and community in this bond issue,” said School Board President Matt Thomas. “It will help us achieve long term goals for our facilities and improve our programs in the process.”
PROJECT TIMELINE: (Timeline is approximate and actual dates may vary)
September 2018 – Bond election
Fall 2018 – Issue bonds; advertise for bids on construction projects
Early spring 2019 – Begin construction on career and technical education classrooms and labs at the main Clinton High School campus
Summer 2019 – Begin work on construction and renovation projects at Clinton Park Elementary School, Lovett Elementary School, and Northside Elementary School; expand CHS band hall
Late 2019/early 2020 – Open new CHS Career Complex classrooms and labs at Clinton High School main campus; begin renovating former CHS Career Complex facility to accommodate Clinton Junior High fine arts and elective programs
Summer 2020 – Renovate old fine arts area at CJHS into administrative offices; convert old administrative offices at CJHS into classrooms
Fall 2020 – Work is completed
“This bond will impact nearly every school in the Clinton Public School District,” said Dr. Tim Martin, Superintendent of Schools. “From Clinton Park on up to Clinton High School, this will allow us to expand to accommodate our growing enrollment and to improve programs and safety.”
According to the city, the most significant project would be relocating the CHS Career Complex from Clinton Junior High to the main campus of Clinton High School. The purpose of this project is twofold, Martin said. “For logistical reasons, this will make it easier for kids to get to class,” he said. “Students will no longer have to drive or be bused to another campus to take a career or technical course.”
The second major component of the bond issue is to repurpose the current CHS Career Complex facility to house the fine arts and elective programs at Clinton Junior High School, move the CJHS administrative offices to the current choir/fine arts area, and turn the old administrative area into more classrooms. Included in these renovations is a renovation of CJHS’ main entrance so it’s centrally located and safer.
“This will give our show choir and STEM programs at the junior high more space, and allow us to make some much-needed changes to the main CJHS campus,” Martin said.
Martin says this would add a significant change to the school layout – with the main entrance in the middle of campus, and the area currently used as the principals’ offices and front desk converted to traditional classrooms.
This vote would also affect elementary schools in the school district.
Elementary campuses would be updated including adding classrooms at Clinton Park Elementary School and Northside Elementary School to replace the portable classrooms.
At Clinton Park, plans to expand the cafeteria would take place. Lovett Elementary School is also getting additional classroom space and a more modern look.
“At several schools, the changes to the building entrance will not only improve the ‘curb appeal’ of the school, but improve safety,” Martin said. “Someone with bad intentions will have a harder time accessing the school and harming students with these design changes to the school entrances.”
The city said that this money would also go towards fixing a longtime issue with the Lovett school driveway. Car and bus traffic is segregated and the school entrance is easier to navigate for morning drop-off and afternoon dismissal.
According to the city, a tax increase is not expected with this bond issue. Projected economic growth from the Continental Tire plant should help with the overall economic growth so taxes do not have to be raised.
The Hinds County plant is projected to employ more than 2,000 people over the next decade. Its training center is set to open later this year and its plant is set to open in late 2019.