Head Start classrooms in Roseboro, Midway and Union could change when the program starts back up on Sept. 10, according to Sampson County Schools officials.
At a work session this week, Anthony Vann, executive director of Auxiliary Services for Sampson County Schools, told Board of Education members the Telamon Corporation, which took over the program from the county two months ago, has expressed interest in additional classrooms in those three districts.
According to Vann, system officials have been working with Telemon to provide those classrooms to accomodate the program that is designed to give children ages 3-5 additional educational opportunities as they prepare to enter kindergarten.
“We have talked to the company about them wanting to lease eight classrooms at the Learning Center at Charles E. Perry,” Vann explained. “They will also have a play area designated for the students there as well.”
The director also informed the board that Telemon has asked to lease two classrooms at the Childhood Development Center, now housed at the old Midway Elementary School location, as well as utilizing three mobile units at Union Elementary School.
“Those classrooms are on the front hallway on the left end, across from where some of our Pre-K students will be,” he explained about the classrooms at the Childhood Development Center. “As you know, there is one mobile unit at that site that they would like to continue to use.”
In reference to the classrooms at Union Elementary, Vann said those will be in portable units.
“On the right side of Union Elementary, if you are facing it, there is a mobile unit there and two more behind it,” he explained. “Those are the ones they are interested in leasing and we are working with them on that.”
In other sites throughout the county, such as Hargrove, Hobbton, the program will not change. “We didn’t see any problem with those spaces, but they seemed to want to use the same ones that they have been using,” he said.
Vann stated that the leases for the new sites could be for 5 or 10 years, something which the board would have to approve.
“There are some modifications they have requested,” Vann explained. “Some of those modifications would be painting, new floor coverings … that sort of thin,g andthey would like to put in emergency escape windows. As long as they pay for those items and our group approved it, we would be OK with that.”
For the three locations, Vann said the system could expect the leases to cost Telemon, in the “six figures” for the year. An final estimated cost on those leases was not presented to the board or discussed at the meeting.
“We still have to hammer out all the details before I could present it to you,” Vann acknowledged. “We wanted to bring this forward to you so we can utilize some of this space we have available that will offset our costs.”
Board chairman Telfair Simpson suggested that the system should offer a five-year lease on the three additional sites. “This way we are not locked into a 10-year lease,” he said.
“We can always look at it and, if everything is OK after five years,” agreed Vann, “we can continue on with no issues. It would be all up to the board.”
The leases, with full costs to Telemon, will be presented officially to the board at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the county’s auditorium.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.