Officials from the 3-D School in Petal are now the owners of their building on South George Street, recently purchasing the facility from the city for $417,500.
The purchase was approved at the Sept. 14 meeting of the Petal Board of Aldermen, when board members voted unanimously to accept the measure.
“It’s great; that’s what keeps us from having to raise taxes here,” Mayor Hal Marx said. “Hopefully, this next year, (if voters approve) the 2 percent sales tax option for recreation, then that will mean we won’t have to be looking at property tax (increases) in the future.
“We will be able to move some money around and pay for some recreation through that sales tax, and not have to add any property tax. Although I won’t be here for that budget, I’m hoping that’s what will be able to happen.”
Marx is not seeking re-election after serving as mayor since 2009.
The building was purchased by the city several years ago and was originally used as a space for a senior center.
Soon after, the city began leasing the top floor of the building to the 3-D School.
As the school began to grow, the city moved the Petal Senior Center to its current location on Central Avenue and leased the entire building on South George Street to the 3-D School.
“Now, with the uncertainty of what the next administration may be, and what they may want to do with the school, we wanted the school to have the security of owning their own building and not having to lease it from the city any more,” Marx said. “Also, it frees up the property from the city – we don’t want to own a lot of property with the city.
“The city needs (that building) to be in private hands so that it contributes back to the economy in some way, and the 3-D School is a great plus to have here in our city. It’s brought families to live here and given us a lot of positive publicity and a lot of positive coverage. So it’s just a win-win – they get to have their own building and security of knowing they have a place to be, and we keep them in Petal and we get the $417,000, which will help us this budget year.”
The 3-D School is designed to identify children with the characteristics of dyslexia and provide an educational environment aimed at appropriate multi-sensory research-based intervention, academic enrichment and positive educational experiences.
The school accepts students entering second and third grades and provides services that include an evaluation center, speech and language therapy, parent support and community outreach.