VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – The Warren County School District is looking to make improvements.
A number of solutions are on the table, including merging the two high schools.
Warren Central High School and Vicksburg High School have notoriously been rivals in the district.
But the school board has hired a consultant to study the facilities and organization of each school. Depending on his findings and the responses from the community, they could become one.
Gary Bailey, the consultant for the district, says the district is not predicted to see major growth because the housing market is down in Vicksburg, “your population’s getting older, and that means you’re having less children. Your children repopulate your school district.”
Bailey was brought in to find what issues each school faces. He says each one needs small renovations, but out of the two high schools Vicksburg High needs more work. “It’s just hard to organize it as a building. It has some buildings that are outdated. And there’s some mistakes made in years past,” Bailey said during a community meeting held at Warren Central High School.
Both high schools also face over population. Parents who attended Tuesday night’s meeting had mixed responses to the possibility of merging the two.
“The first reason for us to have one high school is because we are one city. And right now I don’t think anyone can honestly say that our schools are not segregated,” said one community member who supports merging.
VHS is predominantly black, while Warren Central has a higher population of white students. However, Bailey says both are made up of varying socioeconomic backgrounds.
“We have kids now who don’t have certified teachers…They’re not being afforded an adequate education…So the district should try to tackle that before trying to look ahead,” said a Vicksburg High School parent who does not support a merger.
Tuesday’s listening session was the last of three.
Merging isn’t the only option. According to Bailey, they could also create a 9th grade school, fix the existing buildings, etc.
He will present suggestions to the school board in about a month.
After that, the district will make a decision on how to fix its problems and whether or not a bond will be needed.