Moss Point waiting on FEMA to rebuild storm damaged school - - The News for South Mississippi

Moss Point waiting on FEMA to rebuild storm damaged school

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By Patrice Clark - bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point School District leaders are anxious for the hurricane damaged Magnolia Junior High to be knocked down, so a new one can go up. But the superintendent said FEMA hasn't given the green light to get the project rolling. And he said a new facility is a "must" because a lot of his schools are old.

The devastation is still visible around every corner at Magnolia Junior High. 

"It is beat down and raggedy," Moss Point student Ina Anderson said. 

Hurricane Katrina did a number on the old school's windows, doors and classrooms. 

"It was broken down and it was messed up," student Jovhante Johnson said.  

The school district finally won a long battle to get FEMA to pay to build a new school. 

"About $10.1 million was awarded to us from FEMA," Moss Point Schools Superintendent Kim Staley said. 

Superintendent Staley said he's ready to build a mega middle school with three wings for students, but the project is at a standstill.

"Demolition is the holdup at this point." 

The district needs FEMA approval to pay for demolition. Plus, Staley said more money is needed to expand the new school and outfit it with new technology.

"We are hoping to get at least two plus million," Staley said. "We are hoping we have submitted the proper paper work to MEMA, and they will get back to FEMA. And then we can go on with the demolition process." 

Staley said waiting isn't easy, especially for his students trying to excel. 

"We have not had a new building in over 50 years, and that in itself is very important. Secondly, it will create some excitement about education in this community." 

Superintendent Staley said the district hopes to have the new school ready for students by the end of next year. 

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