Natchez Early College Academy may get new modular classrooms

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, February 27, 2019


NATCHEZ — The Natchez Early College Academy moved closer Tuesday afternoon to having its own modular classrooms located on the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Natchez campus.

Natchez-Adams School Board members approved a site plan for modular classrooms and a multipurpose building during Tuesday’s school board meeting.

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Natchez Early College Academy had been utilizing space cost-free in the Copiah-Lincoln facility through an in-kind agreement with the school district, NASD Superintendent Fred Butcher said.

“They got a grant for an EMT (emergency medical technician) program, and they need the space back for that,” Butcher said.

Cost of renting similar space in a university facility, Butcher said, had been estimated at $120,000 to $130,000 per year.

The NASD board has been considering purchasing modular classrooms to house the early college magnet school since spring 2018.

In presenting a site plan to the board Tuesday, architect Amelia Salmon said two classroom modular buildings each containing two classrooms and a multipurpose building could be placed on the south-most, grassy area on the back of the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Natchez Campus.

Salmon said the modular classroom buildings with two classrooms each would cost roughly $100,000 each and a multipurpose building would cost between $200,000 and $215,000.

“This is more complicated than some modular buildings you have done in the recent past,” Salmon said, “in that they have plumbing extending water and sewer some 400 to 550 feet from the back of Co-Lin’s building out to this site.”

Regardless of whether the board put two classroom buildings or one and a multipurpose building, to get water, sewer and electric run to the builds would still carry 90 percent of the cost.

If the board chose to put one modular classroom building in now and ran the water, sewer and electrical now, they could later add another building and hook it in to the lines without as much cost, Salmon said.

“Just make sure to drop enough electrical power for any additional units in now,” Salmon said.

Butcher said the board would consider how many buildings to put on the site at a future meeting but was just seeking approval of the site plan at Tuesday’s meeting.

Board member Renee Davis-Wall made a motion to approve the site plan and all members unanimously approved the motion on a 5-0 vote.

In other matters at Tuesday’s meeting of the Natchez-Adams School Board, members:

  • Heard academic progress reports from principals of all the district’s schools and their plans for achieving academic success in their schools before the year’s end.
  • Unanimously voted to allow Morgantown Middle School to accept a $52,004 grant for school improvement.
  • Unanimously approved the minutes of the board’s Jan. 15 regular board meeting and the minutes of a special-called Jan. 23 meeting.
  • Heard a request from the Rev. Eddie Ray Jackson to utilize the school district’s track facilities for a program he administers for the 18th year. Jackson asked permission to begin the program in March this year instead of April as has been done in the past. The board tabled a decision on the matter to study it and agreed they will get back with Jackson with an answer.
  • Unanimously approved consent items, including the claims docket; donated property; a Xerox contract; approval of overnight student travel for some Natchez Early College staff and some junior and senior students to Starkville and Orlando to be inducted in to the Co-Lin Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society; approved use of school facilities for an “Aftermath Day Treatment” program that teaches students lessons on listening, following directions, self-control and conflict resolution; agreed to allow a Little League program to use the baseball field behind Braden School as a practice field from March 1 to March 1, 2020.
  • Unanimously approved a contract for development/remediation services for Gilmer McLaurin Elementary from the Kirkland Group to provide professional development to teachers and remediation to students. School board members did not release the price of the contract and when contacted after Tuesday’s meeting could not cite the cost the contract will carry to the school district.
  • Unanimously agreed to advertise for prospects interested in obtaining hunting and fishing leases on the district’s 16th section lands.
  • Unanimously agreed to a 30-day review of a proposed Natchez-Adams School District 2019-2020 Academic Calendar.
  • Board member Renee-Davis Wall said she is heading up the second year of the Natchez Book Project and is asking people to purchase books to donate to school children. For information on how to donate books, contact Davis-Wall at