SVT alumni considered bid for school

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 22, 2000

Alumni of Thompson School had been considering a move to acquire all or part of their old school, one alumnus said Saturday.

Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West, a Natchez alderman who also served as chairman of this year’s Sadie V. Thompson Era Reunion Committee, said the alumni’s acquisitions committee had been considering an effort to acquire the school.

&uot;I hope that is taken into consideration when the smoke from this controversy clears,&uot; West said.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;This controversy&uot; is a 3-1 vote Adams County supervisors took Friday morning to draw up plans to give Thompson School — whose repairs have cost the county thousands of dollars over the past few years — to AJFC&160;Community Action Agency. AJFC administers the Head Start program housed at the school.

Two supervisors — one who attended Friday’s meeting and one who did not — have questioned the validity of the vote, which took place at an emergency meeting called to discuss leaks in the county jail roof.

Supervisor Thomas &uot;Boo&uot; Campbell, who voted against selling the school to AJFC, said Friday he is not sure the vote was legal. Supervisor Darryl Grennell, who did not attend the meeting, has vowed to take the matter to court because he does not believe the vote was legal.

But Supervisor Sammy Cauthen said Friday supervisors can discuss any county business at a called meeting. At the end of board’s regular meeting Monday, Cauthen said, the board recessed instead of adjourned so they could meet again this week once cost estimates were available for the jail roof repair. The board discussed the jail roof at Friday’s meeting, but Cauthen said he thinks the supervisors were allowed to discuss other issues. Cauthen said he favored giving the school to AJFC&160;because the building has been expensive to maintain.

The county has spent thousands of dollars on repairs to the building. This year, AJFC&160;has been on probation with the Mississippi Department of Health in part because of poor conditions at Thompson.

Supervisor Lynwood Easterling agreed the county cannot afford to continue to spend money on the school building. Easterling said he wants any contract with AJFC to allow the community and school alumni to use the school.

West said he does not know the specifics of the Thompson plan supervisors discussed at the Friday meeting, but he hopes Thompson alumni and the community can still use the building if AJFC acquires it. &uot;Head Start needs a facility,&uot; he said. &uot;And it’s my understanding that the auditorium and gymnasium will still be used by the community.&uot;

But West said he also thinks supervisors should have given Grennell — who represents District 4, where Thompson is located — the courtesy of discussing the issue when he could be present. Grennell, who said he only found out about the meeting the day before, had to teach class at Alcorn State University Friday morning. He said he did not know Thompson School would be discussed.

Supervisors President Virginia Salmon and County Attorney Marion Smith could not be reached for comment.