Board to take closer look at BHS landscaping plan

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2001

As construction at Brookhaven High School goes into the lastphase, plans are being made for ways to compliment the new buildingwith an improved landscape.

School board members were presented with preliminary plans forlandscaping the areas surrounding BHS during the monthly meetingTuesday.

Dwight Weatherford, an architect with a planning consultant firmin Jackson, talked with school board members about thepossibilities of planting trees and other greenery in differentareas from Monticello Street to the edges of the new building.

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“We want it to be a pleasant pedestrian experience,” he said,mentioning that the main focus should be on the walkway leading tothe school’s main entrance.

Weatherford showed board members how crape myrtles could linethe walkway that might be completely restored with better, longerlasting concrete and brick.

His plans include keeping the BHS sign that already exists witha panther on the top and having the fountain restored to itsoriginal beauty and function.

The plans, which Superintendent Dr. Sam Bounds called “verypreliminary,” also gave board members the options of planting a fewmore magnolia trees in front of the school and having trees lineMonticello Street.

Board President Carl Aycock asked Weatherford if the trees wouldaffect the view of those passing by the school.

“The plan is to keep the limbs shaved so you can see through,”Weatherford responded.

When board members were presented with estimated costs for thelandscape work, approximately $200,000, many began looking for waysto reduce expense.

“There are individual items there that possibly some classescould be involved in or residents of the community,” Aycock saidabout his idea to have some of the projects adopted.

The board plans to look closely at the plans and look at all theoptions before making a decision.

They will have several months to discuss the possibilities sinceBHS construction is not expected to be completed until the latterpart of the year or the beginning of next year.

Scott Murphy, a representative of the construction andarchitectural company working on the high school, told boardmembers he had high hopes of finishing the project by the first ofDecember, although the projected completion date has been movedback to Jan. 12.

“We feel confident we’re going to make that date if we can keepeveryone going in the right direction,” he said, adding thatinclement weather also was a factor.

Robert Freeman, another representative, reported lights beinghooked up in the east building with almost all the windows in andthe first floor being sheet-rocked. He also pointed out that thebrick work seemed to be progressing.

“They’re bricking the south end now, and they should be finishedby the end of the month,” he said.

The west building lacks only five windows and should receivelights by next week. The roof has been completed and brick work onthat building should be finished within a week.

Bounds was impressed by how quickly work had progressedrecently.

“The last two and a half to three weeks have really been wideopen. They’ve gotten a lot done,” he told board members.

In other district matters, the board adopted handbooks for allthe schools, with no major changes from last year’s handbooks.

The board also approved a code of conduct and discipline tocoincide with The Mississippi School Safety Act of 2001 bill passedduring a recent legislative session.

The policies, which basically outline the rules present in thedistrict, will be distributed to each student enrolled in thedistrict. The parents, guardians or custodians of each student willhave to sign a statement verifying they received notice of thepolicies. Copies of the policies will be readily available in theoffice of each school principal for the general public.

The next scheduled meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Sept. 25, inthe central office.