The possibility of selling Crumpton Field to the Coahoma County School District highlighted discussions surrounding facilities during the Clarksdale Municipal School District board meeting Thursday.
The Clarksdale Wildcats had played football at Crumpton Field for several years, but a new stadium was constructed next to the high school. The Coahoma County Red Panthers have also leased and played at Crumpton Field for several years.
Now that the Wildcats began playing at their new field in 2020, the CMSD has begun negotiating to sell Crumpton Field to the CCSD.
Before any sales are made, Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School has a right to refuse the property.
School Property Sales
Board member Bishop Zedric Clayton brought up the issue at a previous meeting when the sale of the Mytle Hall IV building came up. He was previously on the Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School board and resigned to be on the CMSD board.
“We discussed the bid that was submitted last month about the selling of Myrtle Hall IV,” said Clayton. “I discussed the fact that the charter school has first right of refusal before we sell a building.”
Clayton cited MS Code 37-28-61 in pushing his point.
“Anytime you have a charter school in your city, you cannot lease or sell your building owned by the district without first giving them the right to refuse it,” Clayton said.
The board along with board attorney Carlos Palmer agreed.
Figuring out a price
Board president H. Clay Sandy Stillions confirmed after the meeting that the CMSD does have a price in mind to sell Crumpton Field to the CCSD.
“The charter school has a right of first refusal on all public school property,” Stillions said.
“If they don’t want the building, we have come up with a price.”
CCSD board attorney Nathaniel Armistad, board president Lester Myles and board member Edward Kinard came before the CMSD board Thursday night.
“We want to see if we could put out the necessity of going through anything legal, see if we can have the lease canceled,” said Armistad, adding conversations with Stillions and CMSD superintendent Dr. Earl Joe Nelson had already taken place.
“Based on the understanding from the conversation with them, we’re trying to get it resolved. We want to get it resolved. It’s not in the best shape in the world right now. It doesn’t look like you all’s new stadium. We just want somewhere for our children to be able to play.”
Armistad pointed out Crumpton Field is already on CCSD’s campus.
“You are welcome to the property, but we would like to meet,” Stillions said. “Instead of me just throwing a number out there, we need to meet and we’ll do it tonight and discuss a fair number. It will be a fair number.”
Myrtle Hall Sale
Marvin Reddix, in partnership with Richard Gregory, spoke about purchasing Myrtle Hall IV at 700 Fifth St. from the CMSD.
They represent The Delta Phoenix Foundation, but have not formally made a bid for the facility. Reddix said the organization is a non-profit grassroots organization that addresses community development.
“The name was chosen for its reference to the Phoenix rising from the ashes,” Reddix said. “This is the motivation for our goal to help revitalize Clarksdale, Miss.”
Nelson said the CMSD is still waiting to hear back from Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School to determine the next move.
“We are waiting on a response back from the charter school,” Nelson said. “Then we will look at the bid process.”