Members of the Manila School Facilities Committee, Danny Robbins, school board president; Tommy Wagner and Tracey Reinhart, school board members; and Pam Castor, school superintendent; met Wednesday evening with Cliff Chitwood, Mississippi County Economic Developer. Chitwood was invited to discuss opportunities for projected growth in the county.
Once the committee has gathered information they plan to take it to the full board and citizens of Manila for their input on any project considered.
Chitwood said he would not want to interfere with the board's decision or the school finances but his view is Manila could continue to gain in population.
"The 4-lane highway will be a plus," Chitwood said. "Manila has a great potential."
Chitwood commented because of the railroad and the river, chances are good for industry to continue to grow in Mississippi County.
"No one can predict the future but we are going to be making every effort to bring people into the county," Chitwood said. "If it works into your plans and is financially feasible, I don't think you could make a mistake in building a new high school along the highway for people to see. I think Manila is doing great and growth can happen fast. Look at Cabot."
Wagner said he can see Manila growing as more jobs come into the county.
He offered statistics of the surrounding population 10 to 15 miles around his clinic. He said the numbers were up to 8,500 people using facilities in the community.
Chitwood said they will continue their efforts to locate good jobs in the county and with those jobs people will live in the county.
The committee thanked Mr. Chitwood for his time. They discussed setting up a meeting time to talk to a facility representative from the state office.