By Russell Hood
The Webster Progress-Times
Although the property that houses Eupora Head Start is for sale, the center will remain in that leased location.
Tenhet Real Estate is advertising the property for sale at the bottom of Page 1 in today’s Progress-Times. The text that accompanies the photo of the Head Start building reads, in part, “Commercial Property. This property is being sold with the existing lease in place. … Frontage on two roads and could be parceled out.”
Central Development Institute Head Start, the acting tenant, leases the building and is aware
that the property is listed, according to Tenhet Realtor Melissa Vaughn. She pointed out that, as stated in the ad, the existing lease will remain in force if and when the property is sold.
Vaughn said the property is in conservatorship and was listed by David Pryor, who is the executor of his parents’ estate. The building, located at 333 MS Highway 182 west of Eupora, was the former location of Pryor Implement Co. before it closed and the local Head Start center relocated there.
The Head Start centers in Webster and five other counties closed wben the former administrator, Winona-based Central Mississippi Inc., was suspended as the program’s overseer in mid-November. The federal Office of Head Start terminated CMI’s oversight of the program in December, after identified deficiencies in health and safety, governance and fiscal management were not corrected by the deadline specified by the Office of Head Start. CMI has appealed the ruling.
CDI Head Start, headquartered in Denver, has served as the interim administrator of the Head Start Programs in the six counties since CMI’s involvement was suspended and subsequently terminated. CDI HS reopened the Eupora center and one other Jan. 13.
Patrick Fisher, spokesman for the Administration for Children and Families, the agency with oversight of Head Start and a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, told The Winona Times earlier this month that the Eupora center will continue to operate in its existing location.
The federal government launched Head Start in 1965 as part of the “War on Poverty.” School readiness for pre-K children from low-income families is the primary objective for Head Start programs. The Eupora center serves 80 children.