Work just beginning after BHS renovation

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, April 2, 2002

For so many it is a dream come true. A dream that did not comeeasily but a dream that will set the stage for the generations tocome and solidify this community’s image as a leader in educationalexcellence in Mississippi.

That dream of course was the dedication of Brookhaven HighSchool last week. As a parent, a taxpayer and an alumnus of BHS, Iwas in complete awe after walking through the halls of the newlyconstructed and renovated school building. It is absolutelyunbelievable what has been accomplished.

Being a 1973 graduate and seeing how all of the good of the oldbuilding has been improved upon is very exciting. Being a parentand seeing what opportunities that will be available to ourchildren in the form of quality facilities is even more exciting.Being a taxpayer and seeing how well it appears that the schoolboard acted as stewards of our tax dollars is something to stand upand cheer about. They did a very good job and we taxpayers havegotten a lot of bang for the buck.

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The vision of Dr. Sam Bounds and each member of the board isevident the minute you walk inside the front door. They have put inplace the tools to allow our teachers to provide a qualityeducation.

It has not been an easy struggle. One can look back to 1994,when a bond issue for a new high school failed miserably, to seethe beginning stages for the school we have today. Taxpayers spokeup and said no to that plan and school officials listened.

They regrouped, rethought their plans and made adjustments. In1999 the board presented the current facility to taxpayers in theform of a $7.9 million school bond referendum. That plan passed thescrutiny of voters with a resounding 75 percent majority!

Now that we have this beautiful facility, the work does not end.In fact, it is just beginning, for a beautiful facility does not aquality education make.

Quality facilities are a tremendous tool and one that will allowthe school district to attract and keep quality teachers. But withMississippi already facing a serious teacher shortage, the currentround of statewide budget cuts makes the situation even worse.

However this community has positioned itself to capitalize onthe situation for quality begets quality. Good teachers want firstclass facilities and will search out such facilities, as dobusiness and industry leaders looking for places to invest.Communities that have not chosen to make education a priority willsee their best teachers search for those communities who do.

The renovation and construction is winding down, but the hardwork is just beginning. It is an exciting time in this communityand as a parent, alumnus and a taxpayer I am quite excited aboutwhat the future and opportunities we have before us.