VCS pays off mortgage, plans for future

Published 10:35 pm Friday, October 7, 2016


Vicksburg Catholic Schools became debt free in August after paying off the campus’ newest building, and last week school officials ceremoniously burned the building’s mortgage note before the high school’s football game.

“We’re very excited to be able to be debt free now and be able to plan for the future,” said Ann Roberson, director of development and alumni affairs.

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The Sam P. Scott Building, a two-story building located between the elementary and high school, houses elementary special area classes like music and art as well as the guidance councilor and registrar’s offices, a high school web, media and design classroom and a science lab named after its donors— the William Lauderdale Sr. family.

“Joe Lauderdale just recently gave another donation last year to update some of that equipment,” Roberson said.

The Scott Building once held a computer lab, but now that all high school students have laptops and all elementary school students have tablets, the lab will soon be redesigned for the STREAM curriculum — science, technology, religion, engineering, arts and math.

“That computer lab is going to be transforming into more of a STEM or STREAM lab,” Roberson said. “All of our students have iPads, that’s why we are transforming that room.”

Roberson said the need for the building was identified after the St. Francis Xavier Elementary School building, completed and dedicated in 1991, was paid off in 1999.

A capital campaign to fund the $2.1 million Scott Building was started in 2000 and continued through 2005 with $1 million in pledges. Scott and his wife, Sherry, both VCS graduates, chose to match the $1 million in pledged donations for the building.

“It took a year or two to get the plans together and raise the funds,” Roberson said. “Since then, a portion of our budget has been allocated to pay that debt every year.”

Construction was completed and the building was dedicated in 2004. After 12 years, the remainder of the building’s costs were paid off in August. Roberson said being debt free opens the school up to start new projects.

“With us being debt free that allows us to open doors to possibly plan for future building projects,” Roberson said.

School officials are currently working on a five-year strategic plan and are considering different options for adding another building to the campus.

Some options being discussed include a true middle school, a performing arts center or a multipurpose building.

“There are some needs that we feel like we have that this will now open up the door for us to be able to proceed,” Roberson said.

The strategic plan is part of the accreditation process a committee of 30 to 35 alumni, community members, parents and teachers are working to complete.