Harper McCaughn Elementary hosts open house - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harper McCaughn Elementary hosts open house


By Krystal Allan – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Gatlin Williams is a third grader at Harper McCaughn Elementary School.  But Sunday she took on a new title, school tour guide, as she showed the WLOX crew around her new school.

"This is our classroom, Williams said. "These are the cubbies. We each have a number."

During the tour, Williams showed us where she sits, but most importantly, how clean she keeps her desk.  She even introduced us to Guinea, the class guinea pig.

"If you put your finger next to his mouth, he'll nibble on it."

The school has 31 classrooms.  Kindergarten through second grade are on the first floor and third through fifth grade occupy the second floor. Harper McCaughn has two computer labs and a state of the art media center. 

Principal Eddie Holmes said the new school is a source of pride for students and staff.

"We were really looking forward to getting into it," Holmes said. "Now that we're in it, it's so much better than we would have imagined it would be."

Our tour continued with a stop at the cafeteria. For the first time, the school now holds a spacious cafeteria and a full-size gym all under one roof. 

Take a trip up to the second floor and you'll find the school's new art lab and a science lab around the corner.  And there's one area, that's quickly become a popular place among students. 

"The courtyard," Williams said, "because it's fun and we get some fresh air."

For now, it doubles as the school's playground until one is built.  On the far end of the courtyard stands an archway made with bricks from the old Harper McCaughn.  It's a reminder, said Superintendent Carolyn Hamilton, of how far the school has come.

"We've spent four and half years working to this point, since August 29 really, to try to get here," Hamilton said. "It's something that will serve our children for a long time, so it's very exciting."

Harper McCaughn is located on Pineville Road. Superintendent Hamilton said the pavilion, sidewalks and playgrounds, which have yet to be built, will be going out for bid very soon.

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