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Arts School applications now official

Applications for students to attend the Mississippi School ofthe Arts have been printed and are now being sent to high schoolsaround the state, MSA Executive Director Dr. Vicki Bodenhamer toldofficials during Tuesday’s city board meeting.

“We are very happy to have our printed applications,” Bodenhamersaid.

Bodenhamer said this year’s sophomores are the first studentseligible to apply for admission to the school that is scheduled toopen next fall. The application deadline is Feb. 14, 2003.

“Every day, we get multiple calls and multiple e-mails frompotential applications across the state,” Bodenhamer said.

Bodenhamer said the school will be able to accept 90-100 highschool juniors in its first year. Of that total, 60 will beresidential students living in the Student Life Center, and 30-40can be commuters who live within a certain distance from the schoolon the Whitworth College campus.

In other school-related news, Bodenhamer said campusconstruction work is going well but some is a little bit behindschedule. Citing weather concerns, she said the eight-story StudentLife Center is now scheduled to be completed in March instead ofJanuary.

Bodenhamer said school officials were awaiting a state notice toproceed on replacing the roof of Lampton Auditorium. The roof wasimproperly installed during a restoration effort several years ago,and the contractor who did the work is no longer in business.

Bodenhamer praised local support for the school.

The state has contributed $20 million toward the school, withanother $11.2 million in construction-related bonding requests nextyear. Including the value of land, the buildings and grant funds,the city has contributed over $21 million toward the school.

“The community is to be applauded,” Bodenhamer said. “Thecommunity support continues to be phenomenal.”

In other action during the meeting, which was kept short toallow officials and others to follow election returns,aldermen:

* Approved a small monitoring well to be placed on West CongressStreet. The purpose of the well is to monitor activity related tothe on-going environmental clean up of the old Potter Company siteon the street.

* Renewed a city policy for liability and other insurancecoverage. The over $123,000 premium is up 23.6 percent from lastyear.

* Approved a water and sewer system extension for the Tanglewoodsubdivision outside the city. Residents on the system pay doublerates for city service, but those totals would be reduced if theresidents are brought into the city under a pending annexationplan.

In another matter, aldermen voted to pay the $3,000 dues to bemembers of the Mississippi Municipal League. Several meetings ago,aldermen questioned the benefits of membership and elected not topay the amount.

However, since then, Street Department Superintendent JimmyGriffin said he was unable to attend a mosquito control workshopbecause the city was not part of the MML, and City Clerk IrisRudman said the city would not be able to participate in a newworker’s compensation insurance plan if the city was not amember.

Mayor Bill Godbold was unaware of the board’s desire to rejointhe MML and questioned when the decision was made.

In a jovial tone, Godbold questioned when aldermen had a meetingto decide the matter. Ward 1 Alderman Dorsey Cameron said nomeeting was held, but other board members were called or contactedbefore Tuesday’s meeting.

“Next time y’all have a meeting, why don’t you invite me,”Godbold said.

The motion to join the MML was approved 7-0. Godbold, who votesonly in cases of ties, raised his hand against the measure butindicated later that he would not veto the move.