Moss Point breaks ground on first new school in decades

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Past, present, and future students packed Magnolia Street in Moss Point to take part in breaking ground on the first new middle school in more than 40 years.

"Excitement is everywhere for the whole community, especially Magnolia Monarchs," Debra Goldsmith said.

Monarchs are graduates of the old Magnolia Junior High, and to show their school spirit they decided to serenade the crowd at the event.

This grand celebration comes after a long and hard fight with FEMA. Hurricane Katrina clobbered the school, but Board President Clifton Magee said FEMA refused to pay for an entirely new building, instead they opted to refurbish the school, a decision school officials weren't pleased with.

"We felt Moss Point deserved this and we just would not back down. We wouldn't go away," Magee said.

So district leaders appealed the decision, and won, forcing FEMA to fork over millions.

"Somewhere in range of $14 and half to $15."

The new school will have separate wings for 6, 7, and 8th graders to learn. Advanced technology tools will be on every floor, and a special community room to make the school more inviting. The superintendent, Dr. John Ladner, said he's confident the new facility will create a new since of pride and help his mission to improve education.

"We are under The Mississippi Department of Education's Microscope and also certain AYP issues with No Child Left Behind," Dr. Ladner said. "We are in our second year of restructuring we are looking at all sorts of exciting configurations that will be part of this building."

Construction will take at least 16 months, so Moss Point could be cutting the ribbon on a state- of-art school by 2013.

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