Rankin County School bond vote is Tuesday

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Norwest Rankin High School teacher and coach Jason Greer plans to add speakers and other bells and whistles to his rolling cart.

After all, it's his rolling classroom.

"I've got shelves to keep pages in, this is a binder," he says, pointing to the various items he rolls around. "It's not just me, there are 22 of us floating here. This year, I have four classes in four different hallways. My cart and I are constantly in motion, up and down the hallways."

There are just as many floating teachers at Northwest Rankin Middle School, and some of the classes are held in portables.

"In 2015, if we don't pass this bond issue, there will be approximately 40 teachers without a classroom," says Rankin County School Board President Ann Sturdivant. She is heavily touting the $169.5 million school bond issue, which would put a new elementary school in Brandon, new high schools in Northwest Rankin and McLaurin, fund the construction of 150 additional new classrooms across the district, and provide for band and athletic upgrades. The old schools will still be used as well.

The district is getting some heat for hanging a $10 million price tag on the athletic fields they want to build at Brandon High School. "The football stadium is not $10 million, the whole athletic field will be $10 million," Sturdivant says. "It will be some practice fields, I think there's a girls' softball field, and the football field. The athletic facility part of the issue will cost approximately $6 a year, or 50 cents a month."

School districts can only build facilities that meet the needs of the student population at the time they're built. But as student bodies constantly grow in Rankin County, so does the need for more room.

Click here for a comprehensive list of the new construction and upgrades, and the costs.

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