FEMA plan out; new Magnolia Junior High to be built - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

FEMA plan out; new Magnolia Junior High to be built

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - A legal victory today for the Moss Point School District. Superintendent Kim Staley told WLOX News that a panel of federal judges today ordered FEMA to fund the entire cost of replacing Magnolia Junior High School.

The school district and FEMA disagreed over how to rebuild the school after it was heavily damaged by Katrina. Both sides appealed their cases before an arbitration panel. FEMA had proposed an alternative plan to build a 10-foot flood wall from the edge of the building to surround the currently Magnolia Junior High School.

According to the court's decision, this alternative was not feasible and FEMA has been ordered to fund the entire replacement of Magnolia Junior High School. The judges ruled that FEMA must pay to tear down and rebuild Magnolia.

"It has been nearly five years since Hurricane Katrina destroyed Magnolia Junior High School" said Superintendent Kim Staley. "This decision will bring hope to our students, parents and community and place Moss Point in the right direction for growth" Staley said.

The superintendent says he, the school board and many others have worked non-stop to over rule FEMA's decision to deny Public Funding or the full replacement cost of Magnolia Junior High School.

School board president Charles Wesley called the court's decision a major milestone. "I've remained optimistic throughout this process and I believe this a great day for the District and the City of Moss Point," Wesley said.

Construction the new Magnolia Junior High is slated to begin in summer 2011. The project is estimated to cost more than $12-million.

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