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|MCSB makes Gray appointment official|
Monroe City Schools will answer to education consultant Julian Gray for the foreseeable future.
The board unanimously approved Gray's contract as interim superintendent at its regular meeting Tuesday.
Under terms of the agreement, Gray will serve as interim superintendent until the board hires a permanent replacement.
Gray said he looked forward to working with the board.
"I would like to thank the board for their vote of confidence," he said.
Though his appointment as interim superintendent only became official Tuesday, Gray has been working with the system since last month when the board moved to suspend Dr. James Dupree as superintendent for breech of contract.
Dupree was placed on paid leave pending a hearing of the charges against him. Dupree resigned last week in exchange for $235,000.
Meanwhile, Gray handled day-to-day affairs for the system as an educational consultant.
Dupree's buyout covered roughly one year of Dupree's salary and all attorney's fees he incurred in defending the charges against him, as well as the expenses of a federal lawsuit Dupree filed against the board.
That suit was dismissed, per the buyout agreement.
In other business Tuesday's school board meeting, board members heard reports on major construction projects at two area schools.
Architects from Monroe-based Architecture Plus were on hand to present their preliminary designs for a new gymnasium to be built at Lee Junior High.
Douglas Breckenridge said his firm was working "quickly" at the board's request to meet a tight deadline on the new gym.
School board president Brenda Shelling said the rapid response received from Architecture Plus was appreciated.
"We want to expedite these projects and put them out to bid as soon as we can," Shelling said. "We want to thank you for making that possible."
The Lee Junior High gymnasium will be built on land adjacent to the school at a cost of just under $4 million.
Plans for a second gymnasium are also under way across town at Wossman High School.
Architects from Jackson, Miss.-based M3M Designs presented their preliminary plans for a $5 million structure at the high school.
Board member Rodney McFarland, who represents the Wossman district, said he hoped to see the project completed by the end of next year.