City, county leaders say MSMS should stay in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The message is loud and clear from leaders in the city and the county.

“MSMS is in the location it should be,” said Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin.

A bill to relocate the Mississippi School for Math and Science from the campus of the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus to the Mississippi State University in Starkville has been proposed by lawmakers.

“We do not know why this bill was even authored, but I can make some assumptions,” said Hairston.

Trip Hairston is the President of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors.

“Those assumptions are that if it’s the facilities. Well shame on them. Shame on the Department of Education for not providing adequate facilities, or not continuing to pump capital investments into MSMS if that is the case. I don’t know if that is the case or not but shame on them. Secondly, I do not think the size of the university that they are thinking about relocating to is an appropriate place for a 16, 17, or 18-year-old child,” said Hairston.

Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin worked on the MUW campus and served as executive director for the foundation for MSMS.

“I know a lot of the alumni at MSMS and some have told me that after they left MSMS, they went to Mississippi that they would have had no business being there on that campus when they were an MSMS student. So, that’s clear there,” said Gaskin.

Leroy Brooks is the Lowndes County Supervisor for District 5.

“It’s a safe place. For those of us who have raised children, you know how that can be. Hopefully, we’re successful in this bill being killed in committee because it’s a lot easier if it’s killed in the committee,” said Brooks.

Some city and county leaders agree that MSMS should stay where it is.

“We’re proud of the W. We’re proud of the campus. We’re proud of the people in administration, and do not think it’s appropriate to have any sort of move,” said Hairston.

It is unclear if the bill will go before the education committee meeting on February 29 at 4 p.m.

The bill was also double referred to the appropriations, but it has to make it through both committees by March 5.

If not, the bill is then considered dead.

Right now, the fate of MSMS remains unknown.

We will make sure we give our viewers the latest details as they emerge.

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