By Barry Merrill
Mount Olive community leaders spoke up to county leaders last week, asking them to fund proposed improvements at Southern Wayne High School.
Lynn Williams, Public Relations Director at Mount Olive Pickle Company, and Mount Olive Mayor Joe Scott were among the speakers urging Wayne County commissioners to follow through on planned improvements at the largest high school in Wayne County. They spoke during the public comment section of the Wayne County Commissioners’ meeting last Tuesday.
Mrs. Williams, a Southern Wayne graduate and mother of two Southern Wayne graduates, spoke on the deplorable state of the locker rooms, bathrooms, and dressing rooms that were built 50 years ago for different needs. She added several of the women’s sports programs have no locker rooms, and students have to dress in classrooms. Visiting women’s teams dress in buses, and often athletes dress in their cars.
Mayor Scott asked commissioners to find a compromise to get the work on the campus started.
Tribune Publisher Barry Merrill asked the commissioners to commit to complete the 18-year-old promise of a second gym and locker room project at the school that the school advisory council had made their priority over classrooms.
Fremont Mayor Darron Flowers spoke in support of improvements at Southern Wayne, but he also said he did not want to see proposed classroom additions at Fremont Elementary shelved if Southern Wayne got their improvements.
County Commissioners Ed Cromartie and John Bell both spoke up in support of funding improvements on the campus. Mr. Bell acknowledged that while Southern Wayne was out of his district, some in the community had contacted him to ask his support.
Mark Raynor, City Executive of Southern Bank, also attended in support of the Stand Up for Southern Wayne group.