Bryant gives transition update to WPCSD Board

The exterior of Central School (submitted photo)
Staff Writer

The West Point Consolidated School District Board of Trustees received an update on the Central School closure and the resulting district-wide upheaval.

In an update to the board, Fifth Street Principal Richard Bryant discussed some of the logistics of moving technology from one school to the other. Bryant said he had been in communication with the district’s IT department, which was approximately halfway done setting up the equipment at Fifth Street. Currently, all IT equipment has been moved to Fifth Street.

Bryant also lauded district staff for their work toward the move.

“I think we have a couple of classrooms left at Central to move,” Bryant said. “They’re still getting stuff situated. I just also want to say what a great job maintenance and IT have both done. It’s been outstanding. They’ve been working all day, every day, even listening to my little requests and taking care of those. I couldn’t ask for a better job from all of those departments.”

The Central School, built in 1928, was closed in April due to structural issues. The closure will require 466 students to be moved across the district. In addition to fifth and sixth grade going to the Fifth Street Middle School, eighth graders at Fifth Street will move to the West Point High School campus.

Seventh grade will remain at Fifth Street. Central School Principal Wynesther Cousins will become an associate principal over the north campus of WPHS, where eighth grade facilities will be located.

Following the announcement of the closure, the district held a meeting for parents at the Central School to allow community input on the future of the property.

The Monday board meeting was sparsely attended, despite past concerns from citizens on the effect of the empty school on the surrounding neighborhood and the lack of the school in the district.

Costs to repair the 90-year-old Central School are estimated to be at least $500,000. The district has not yet decided the school’s future.

The board also unanimously approved moving its July meeting to July 16, so Superintendent Burnell McDonald and others in the district could attend a conference.