SOCSD Announced Opening of New Partnership School
The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District-Mississippi State University partnership school is now projected to open in the late fall of 2018, three to four months later than previously expected, SOCSD Superintendent Lewis Holloway confirmed Wednesday. The project, which will house and educate all sixth- and seventh-grade students in Oktibbeha County, is still moving forward, he said, but the administrative process developing the school has slowed down its progress and tentatively pushed back the opening date.
“Normally, a school district just designs and builds a new campus. It’s a much speedier process (without university and state-level involvement),” he said. “We had to go through the (university’s) design review committee, and that took several months that we weren’t anticipating.”
MSU Chief Communications Officer Sid Salter said the new timeline estimate is a conservative one and the university is confident it and SOCSD “can successfully navigate any issues that arise.”
“In any project of this nature, such delays are often unavoidable,” he said.
Once completed, the roughly $30 million project will serve as a model education platform in the state and help solve issues with classroom overcrowding created after the Oktibbeha County School District and Starkville School District merged.
Funding for the partnership school comes from three levels: state lawmakers appropriated $10 million, MSU pledged approximately $10 million in land and money and a local $16 million bond issuance will fund construction costs, furnishings and other districtwide infrastructure needs.
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