Monday, April 14, 2014

Archives & History Task Force Gets to Work

As we announced in January, the Partnership has launched a set of new Task Forces this year to address several of the items in our 2014 and ongoing program of work. After a period of allowing members to sign up for participation in the groups, the Task Forces have completed a round of initial meetings designed to discuss and establish specific goals to be addressed. As the work of the Task Forces continue, we hope to share progress and report on their work here.

The GSDP Archives and History Task Force was formed in response to member feedback after the 2014 Annual Banquet. As many of you know, during the Banquet, we were pleased to recognize many of our long-time members for their years of support of the Chamber of Commerce. During the course of compiling milestone records, we realized that many of our records are missing information.

In 1992 the Chamber adopted an online member management system called Chamber Master -- the same system we now use for creating member profiles, managing our event calendar and facilitating registration for Partnership member events. Many membership records prior to the implementation of Chamber Master are antiquated or incomplete. With changes in the GSDP Chamber Director position during that same time period, we realized the need to recover as much of that membership history as possible. After several members expressed an interest in helping with that process, a Task Force devoted to the job was formed.

The Archives and History Task Force held its initial meeting on Friday, March 27 with seven members convening along with Heath Barret, Partnership Director of Membership. Members of the Task Force include Nellah Taylor, David and Sherrie Van Landingham, Gary Allen, Nancy Walsh, Cory Lucious, and Stuart Vance.

After discussion, the Task Force developed a goal of creating a synopsis history of the Starkville Chamber of Commerce and membership that can be made available to Partnership staff and members as needed so that a record of membership history prior to online archiving can be preserved.

Nellah Taylor said she hoped to come out of the Task Force with a "synopsis of the history of the Chamber to make available to each new Chamber Director hire so that he or she will not have this problem in the future."

The Task Force members discussed a number of ways to obtain missing information, including contacting Past Presidents of the Chamber to glean oral history or documents they may have from their tenures serving in leadership positions. Members of the Task Force also agreed to search Starkville Daily News archives and Starkville Public Library holdings as sources of information. In addition, David and Sherrie Van Landingham agreed to provide old paper records that will be copied for research purposes.

The Partnership is grateful to the Task Force members for their willingness to dig through these multiple sources to compile more accurate records. Some of our long-time members may be contacted by volunteers about obtaining additional information. If any of our members have records you feel would be useful, please contact Heath Barrett at the Partnership office.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Partnership Presents Annual Awards

The Greater Starkville Development Partnership presented a slate of yearly awards at the 2014 Annual Banquet on January 27. We are proud to honor the following recipients who have impacted our community:

  • R. Clay Simmons Exemplary Enterprise Award --  Cadence Bank
  • T.E. Veitch Community Service Award – Paige Lawes
  • Education Hall of Fame – Ty Adair
  • Service to the Military Community Award – Jeff Donald & Robert Green
  • Crystal Pineapple Tourism Award – Mississippi State Diamond Dogs Baseball Team
  • Industry of the Year Award -- Southwire
  • Ambassador of the Year – Melanie Mitchell
  • Downtown Revitalization Award – Dan Camp    



Broadcast Media Group helped the Partnership create videos showcasing each of the recipients to be presented at the banquet. Take a look and help us congratulate the award winners!






















Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What to Expect at Tonight's Twitter Town Hall on Consolidation

We hope you are planning to join the Greater Starkville Development Partnership and Parents for Public School of Starkville for tonight’s Twitter Town Hall (7-8pm) to discuss the proposed plan for consolidation presented by the Commission on Starkville Consolidated School District Structure in a live Q&A format.

The Commission was established by HB716 with the task of creating a report for the Legislature with recommendations for the structure of the new district. PPS Starkville has embraced the consolidation process as an opportunity to create better educational opportunities for students in both the city and county, and has taken a leading role in informing and educating the public about the issues involved. The Partnership believes that a quality public school system is an essential element for quality of life, economic and business development for Starkville.

The Commission has met a number of times to gather information and formulate a plan to provide the efficient and quality academic success for all. The initial proposed plan to be discussed tonight contains short term & long term components. View the proposed plan here

Below are the general guidelines and structure of the Twitter chat. We invite the public to submit any questions for discussion to PPS through their twitter account at @ppsstarkville

OUR PANEL
The panel tonight includes the following guests. Please give them a follow on Twitter!
@rgbii Rex Buffington, Commission member
@suptholloway Lewis Holloway, Commission member & SSD Superintendent
@gmwj Michelle Jones, President PPS
@jeremiah_dumas Jeremiah Dumas, Vice Pres PPS
@jenglazegregory Jennifer Gregory, CEO GSDP
@sfped Nelle Cohen, SFPE Pres
@StarkvilleSD Starkville School District

OUR HASHTAG
Be sure to include #StkCSD in every tweet so that it will appear in our stream for all to see

HOW THE CHAT WILL WORK
PPS Starkville will be facilitating the discussion through their twitter account, so be sure to follow @ppsstarkville to see the questions being discussed. In order to simplify the discussion, PPS Starkville will number questions for our panel as Q1, Q2, etc. Please tag your corresponding comments with A1, etc.

PPS Starkville wants to entertain as many questions as possible. So, please tweet new questions to @PPSStarkville to add to the numbered list.

PPS has already received some questions to get the conversation started, and we will tweet other questions as we receive them. Tonight's discussion will begin with...

Q1: MSU has not been mentioned in the proposed plan. What role or involvement do you expect them to have in the new district?

Q2: We've fielded concerns about classroom size with the addition of 7-12 County students. Can you address that?

Q3: What is the reasoning for a proposed new 8-9 school as opposed to a new high school?

Q4: Will the county and city ad valorem taxes be the same so that everyone is contributing at same millage rate?

Q5: Has the Commission considered moving OCSD high schoolers to Starkville before 2015?

JUST IN CASE
If the PPS account becomes restricted by Twitter because of tweet volume, we will move to @GSDPartnership to facilitate. So, be sure to follow both!


New to twitter chats? Tweetchat.com<http://tweetchat.com/> is a good tweet engine. Click login to join through twitter and indicate #StkCSD as hashtag

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

School Consolidation: Twitter Town Hall to Discuss Commission's Proposed Plan

The Greater Starkville Development Partnership is proud to partner with Parents for Public School of Starkville to host a Twitter Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, November 6, from 7 until 8 pm to provide an opportunity for a question and answer session regarding consolidation -- particularly the proposed plan released by the Commission on Starkville Consolidated School District Structure (shown below.)  The Partnership recognizes that a high quality public school system is an essential part of Starkville's quality of life and economic development efforts. We urge all our members and community stakeholders to become informed about this important process to expand the Starkville School District.
 
PPS will facilitate Wednesday's discussion from their twitter account (http://twitter.com/ppsstarkville) using the hashtag #StkCSD. In addition to GSDP and PPS leaders, Commission members Rex Buffington and Lewis Holloway, Starkville School District Superintendent, have confirmed that they will be available to respond to questions. The live chat is an opportunity to share information and discuss consolidation prior to the public hearing scheduled for Thursday, November 7, at the Greensboro Center at 6 pm.  While a public hearing allows individuals to provide input, it typically does not allow for a dialogue exchange, which is why PPS Starkville and GSDP wanted to offer another forum.
 
“The Commission's work has been extensive over the past few  months, and we recognize that parents might not have been able to follow every meeting,” PPS Starkville President Michelle Jones said.  “With that in mind, PPS Starkville felt that it was important for there to be a forum that would allow for questions and answers so that parents and other stakeholders could develop informed opinions on the proposed plan.”
 
Members of PPS Starkville, GSDP, Starkville School District, and the Commission on Starkville Consolidated School Structure will be available during the live chat to answer questions about consolidation and the proposed plan.  During the hour, PPS Starkville and GSDP will facilitate conversation about the merits of the proposed consolidation plan as well as invite feedback on the points of the plan.  This Twitter chat is also an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions about the work of the Commission, including how the Commission decided on their recommendations for the consolidation plan.
 
“It is our hope that this Q and A discussion offers an informative session so that our stakeholders can be better informed about consolidation and better prepared to provide input to the Commission members during the public hearing on Thursday,” Jones said.
 
PPS Starkville and GSDP invite you to join us in this effort to engage our community and our state to help create the best plan for consolidation that does the most to impact the quality and delivery of education in every classroom for every child.


Reminder:  Public Hearing set for Thursday, November 7
6:00pm
Greensboro Center


PROPOSED PLAN FOR THE CONSOLIDATION OF
STARKVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE
OKTIBBEHA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT


(This Proposed Plan is for discussion purposes only and is subject to change.)

1.    All public school students who reside in Oktibbeha County will be educated by the Starkville Consolidated School District.

Elementary Schools

2.    East Oktibbeha Elementary School will remain a Pre-K through Grade 6 elementary school at the same location in the Starkville Consolidated School District.  The school zone for East Oktibbeha Elementary School will remain the same.

3.    West Oktibbeha Elementary School will remain Pre-K through Grade 6 elementary school at the same location in the Starkville Consolidated School District.  The school zone for West Oktibbeha Elementary School will remain the same.

4.    As a result of East Oktibbeha Elementary School and West Oktibbeha Elementary School remaining Pre-K through Grade 6 schools at the same
locations, the following elementary schools in Starkville will remain at the same location and serve the same grades in the consolidated school district:
·      Sudduth Elementary (Grades K-2);
·      Ward-Stewart Elementary (Grades 3-4); and
·      Henderson (Grade 5).

The school zones for Sudduth Elementary, Ward-Steward Elementary and Henderson will remain the same.

Middle Schools

5.    The following are the Short-Term and Long-term Proposed Plans for providing an education for the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in the Starkville Consolidated School District:

Short Term –
·      Sixth Grade Students in the Starkville School District will attend Overstreet.  (8/1/15)
·      The Alternative School will move to an alternate site.
·      All 7th and 8th grade students in Starkville and Oktibbeha County School Districts will attend Armstrong Middle School.

Long Term –
Plan A –
·      Reassign the 9th grade from the High School.
·      Build an 8th and 9th grade school.
     - Cost approximately $14M
     - Move-in date of August 2017
·      All 6th and 7th graders in the Starkville Consolidated School District will attend Armstrong Middle School.

Plan B
·      Build 16 classrooms at Armstrong Middle School to provide classrooms for all 7th and 8th grade students in the Starkville Consolidated School District.
·      Cost approximately $3,069,000.00.
·      Move-in date of August 2016.
(Plan B is not the preferred plan to provide the best educational opportunities for students and will only be initiated if there is a lack of funding.)

High School

6.    Students in Grades 9-12 at East Oktibbeha High School and West Oktibbeha High School will attend Starkville High School.   (August, 2015)

Pre-Kindergarten Classrooms

7.     Increase the number of Four-year-old Pre-Kindergarten classrooms.  (Currently, Starkville School District has two (2) four-year-old Pre-kindergarten classes.  Currently, Oktibbeha County School District has one (1) four-year-old Pre-kindergarten class at East Oktibbeha Elementary and one (1) four-year old class at West Oktibbeha Elementary.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Proposed Plan for Starkville Consolidated School District

The Commission on Starkville Consolidated School District Structure has released the following proposed plan to begin community discussions about the structure of the new consolidated school district. The plan will be the subject of our discussion on Wednesday, November 6 (7-8pm) during a Twitter Town Hall hosted by the GSDP in partnership with Parents for Public School of Starkville. PPS will facilitate the discussion using their twitter account at @PPSStarkville and the public may submit questions for a panel of GSDP/PPS leaders and Commission members. A public hearing regarding the plan will also be held on Thursday, November 7 at the Greensboro Center (6pm).

PROPOSED PLAN FOR THE CONSOLIDATION OF
STARKVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE
OKTIBBEHA COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT


(This Proposed Plan is for discussion purposes only and is subject to change.)

1.    All public school students who reside in Oktibbeha County will be educated by the Starkville Consolidated School District.

Elementary Schools

2.    East Oktibbeha Elementary School will remain a Pre-K through Grade 6 elementary school at the same location in the Starkville Consolidated School District.  The school zone for East Oktibbeha Elementary School will remain the same.

3.    West Oktibbeha Elementary School will remain Pre-K through Grade 6 elementary school at the same location in the Starkville Consolidated School District.  The school zone for West Oktibbeha Elementary School will remain the same.

4.    As a result of East Oktibbeha Elementary School and West Oktibbeha Elementary School remaining Pre-K through Grade 6 schools at the same
locations, the following elementary schools in Starkville will remain at the same location and serve the same grades in the consolidated school district:
·      Sudduth Elementary (Grades K-2);
·      Ward-Stewart Elementary (Grades 3-4); and
·      Henderson (Grade 5).

The school zones for Sudduth Elementary, Ward-Steward Elementary and Henderson will remain the same.

Middle Schools

5.    The following are the Short-Term and Long-term Proposed Plans for providing an education for the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in the Starkville Consolidated School District:

Short Term –
·      Sixth Grade Students in the Starkville School District will attend Overstreet.  (8/1/15)
·      The Alternative School will move to an alternate site.
·      All 7th and 8th grade students in Starkville and Oktibbeha County School Districts will attend Armstrong Middle School.

Long Term –
Plan A –
·      Reassign the 9th grade from the High School.
·      Build an 8th and 9th grade school.
     - Cost approximately $14M
     - Move-in date of August 2017
·      All 6th and 7th graders in the Starkville Consolidated School District will attend Armstrong Middle School.

Plan B
·      Build 16 classrooms at Armstrong Middle School to provide classrooms for all 7th and 8th grade students in the Starkville Consolidated School District.
·      Cost approximately $3,069,000.00.
·      Move-in date of August 2016.
(Plan B is not the preferred plan to provide the best educational opportunities for students and will only be initiated if there is a lack of funding.)

High School

6.    Students in Grades 9-12 at East Oktibbeha High School and West Oktibbeha High School will attend Starkville High School.   (August, 2015)

Pre-Kindergarten Classrooms

7.     Increase the number of Four-year-old Pre-Kindergarten classrooms.  (Currently, Starkville School District has two (2) four-year-old Pre-kindergarten classes.  Currently, Oktibbeha County School District has one (1) four-year-old Pre-kindergarten class at East Oktibbeha Elementary and one (1) four-year old class at West Oktibbeha Elementary.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Blue Ribbon Series Lunch Scheduled for November 6


Do you like to be "in the know" about important community issues and happenings? Do you want to take advantage of opportunities to network with colleagues and potential customers? Is your business at the forefront of efforts to move Starkville forward?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you're probably a member of the Partnership's Chamber of Commerce. We are honored to work with a vibrant, engaged and diverse Chamber membership of corporations, small businesses, organizations from many non-profit and community involvement sectors, as well as highly motivated individuals. Our team at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership includes you! Nationwide, Chambers of Commerce members are some of the most engaged and innovative community influencers. Organizations such as ours are often seen as essential partnerships for business growth and marketing. But, are you getting the most out of your Chamber membership?

On Wednesday, November 6, the Partnership will present another installment in our Blue Ribbon Business Resources Fall Series, a seminar aimed at helping you gain the most benefit from your GSDP membership. We will present a BR2 Lunch Seminar entitled "Know Your Chamber Benefits: Partnership Membership 101." The seminar will be held at Hilton Garden Inn from 11:30am to 1pm, and lunch will be provided.

During the seminar, the Partnership team will share a number of educational and marketing opportunities that are exclusively offered to GSDP members, and some of the benefits may surprise you! In addition to having access to "first-to-know" and expanded community information through events like the Blue Ribbon Series and our weekly eView emailing, Partnership membership includes some unique marketing avenues as well as opportunities to be involved in moving Starkville's economic and community development efforts forward.

At Wednesday's BR2 meeting, we'll offer more information about Chamber member marketing benefits including our "Hot Deals" online promotional program, the integration of social media links to our membership directory, participation in the annual Starkville Magazine distributed throughout the community, and our Ribbon Cutting promotional opportunities. You'll also be the first to hear about the upcoming Task Force initiative beginning through the Partnership in 2014. This program will allow the Partnership to be better in tune with community needs and will provide avenues for members to roll up  their sleeves in ways that will make specific impact to community growth.

One of the key components of the BR2 Luncheon on November 6 will be an introduction to the new Chamber Master system the Partnership has implemented for member management. This system gives members the opportunity to log in, edit and immediately update online business information, add "hot deals," post business events, advertise job openings, register for Partnership events and more.  Members in attendance at the BR2 Seminar will receive their unique login credentials for the system, and our team will walk through the how-tos of key features.

If you would like to attend this Blue Ribbon Series event on Tuesday, please RSVP to Donna at 662.323.3322 or email at dwilliams@starkville.org. We look forward to sharing with our members these great new benefits for business marketing and community engagement. See you then!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Starkville Main Street Presents 2013 Awards

On September 26, the Starkville Main Street Association held its Annual Meeting and introduced a new set of annual member awards aimed at recognizing members who have helped to advance the mission of Starkville Main Street.

As a part of the Mississippi Main Street Association, Starkville Main Street seeks to invigorate, revitalize and preserve the Downtown District of Starkville, including the Main Street District, Russell Boulevard District and the Cotton District. The Main Street organization works in conjunction with the Starkville Convention & Visitor's Bureau to solidify Downtown Starkville as one of our community's premiere destinations. Downtown Starkville has been recognized as one of the top five Downtown areas in Mississippi for the past two years in Mississippi Magazine's annual "Best of Mississippi" reader's poll. We are proud of the contributions this year's award winners are making to create this vibrant District.

2013 MAIN STREET AWARD WINNERS


Best Adaptive Re-Use Project
WINNER: SPROUT

This award is granted to the best adaptive reuse of a building that has outlived its former use.  Originally a home that was used for commercial purposes for years, the Underwoods undertook a renovation project in a former florist.  Beginning with the adaptive re-use of the original house, the owners also built new buildings and landscaping to enhance this prominent corner of downtown.  Sprout also fills a needed niche of downtown Starkville’s retail market in their specialization of outdoor furniture and accessories, in addition to interior design and unique infant wear.


Best Historic Rehabilitation Project
WINNER: Ross, Kelley & Martin, PLLC

This award is granted to an individual or business that has completed an outstanding historic rehabilitation project that maintains the use of the building. The project must be located in the downtown district and should include exterior rehabilitation work, but could be both interior and exterior work.  The offices of Ross, Kelley & Martin, PLLC is one of the first private redevelopment projects on Highway 182.  Rehabilitating a charming gas station into their law offices demonstrates that historic buildings can find a new function in an economic manner that maintains the integrity of the original building.


Best Facade Rehabilitation Over $10,000
WINNER: Nine Twenty-Nine

This award recognizes the best single facade renovation project completed with over $10,000. The physical design of the facade should enhance the commercial district in appearance or function and encourage further design improvements. Although Nine Twenty-Nine is more than a simple façade rehabilitation, the new façade is one of the most intriguing characteristics of the renovation.  By moving the exterior wall back to provide for outdoor seating, the new façade interacts with the street to enhance social interaction between patrons and pedestrians.


Best New Development Project
WINNER: Renasant Bank

This award is granted to an individual or business that has undertaken a new development project within the downtown district. The project should not only achieve financial success and quality design, but also have a positive impact on downtown revitalization. Possibly the largest single building private investment in downtown in 25 years, the commitment of Renasant Bank to build a monument building on a site that was previously a parking lot and metal buildings pushes downtown development to a new level.  Along with other private development on this corner from Tabor and Sprout, the intersection of North Montgomery and Lampkin Street is now one of the most attractive corners in our downtown.


Merchant of the Year
WINNER: Deep South Pout

This award recognizes excellence in the retail field. This award goes to a merchant who has been a "mover and shaker" in downtown revitalization. The recipient should exemplify the best in merchandising, inventory, display, hours. Deep South Pout has revolutionized downtown retail especially as it relates to e-commerce and social media sales. They've doubled the size of their store, opened an online store, and received statewide and regional attention as a leader in the industry.


Partner of the Year
WINNER: City of Starkville

This award is granted to an individual, business, or organization that has displayed great commitment and support to downtown revitalization through programming, financial support, economic restructuring, and organizational assistance. Starkville Main Street has been fortunate to have the support of the City of Starkville from our organization’s inception.  The city leadership continues to allow Starkville Main Street to attain our goals in design, economic restructuring, and promotions through a number of their departments.  The Street Department was instrumental in the installation of our new directional signage program.  The Police and Fire Department continue to assist with such events as Pumpkinpalooza, Downtown Block Party, Fires Station Park, and others. The Starkville Electric Department has been an excellent partner in the implementation of our Christmas lights and decorations, as well as assisting with planter water/electric maintenance and the implementation of our new downtown music.


Best Creative Window Display
WINNER: Aspen Bay

This award is granted to a business that has displayed unique style, creativity, and resourcefulness in creating appealing window displays that add to the character, aesthetics, and appeal of Downtown Starkville. As citizens and visitors walk our downtown streets, one of the most intriguing and appealing windows every season is Aspen Bay.  The creative use of materials and textures draws the potential customer in to see what else this Starkville original has to offer.

Congratulations to our 2013 winning Main Street members!