OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - After nearly a decade of planning, pushing for a $37 million bond issue, then construction delays, the Ocean Springs School District opened its new high school Tuesday. The school is so large, some students compared it to a college campus.
More than 1,700 students walked around the campus in awe Tuesday morning. Many of them marveled at the design and size of the new Ocean Springs High School.
"Insane," said Myller Dobbins, Ocean Springs High Senior. "The University of Ocean Springs, that's what I call it. It's just the immense size. All the classrooms are fantastic."
"The new school is really big. I need a scooter 'cause it's really, really hard to get around," said Ocean Proffitt, Ocean Springs High Sophomore.
Ocean Springs High Junior Jazjuan Jupiter liked the spacious courtyard.
"It's ten times bigger than the one we had before," he commented.
Everything seems big, because the campus is the size of three football fields. The rooms come fully equipped to meet students' needs. For instance, the huge band hall has seven practice rooms, along with separate rooms for equipment repairs, uniforms, and a music library.
"The acoustics here were fantastic!" said Dobbins. "The whole place is huge. I'm just astounded."
"The auditorium stage is huge. It's bigger than the old school," said Marissa Lopes, Ocean Springs High Senior.
The building on the south side of the 330,000 square foot campus houses the vo-tech program, ROTC, PE, Health and STEM classes.
"I really love it, because it has so many ways to get to class. The hallways are much bigger and it's not as crowded and you don't feel like you're trapped in a sardine can," said Lauren Cody, Ocean Springs High Junior. "I love the campus. It looks so much nicer and so much cleaner verses the other one."
The cafeteria has four serving lines, with enough seating for 600 people. There's a practice gym and a competition gym. During freshmen orientation, the principal said opening day for the new high school was everything he dreamed of.
"It was worth all the trials and tribulations that we had to go through," said David Baggett. "I knew we were building a fabulous facility, but it just confirms it when I see the expressions on their faces."
When asked how he felt, Baggett replied, "Oh, I like a proud daddy. I'm looking forward to a great year."
The new high school is at the corner of Highway 57 and Old Spanish Trail. Construction started in 2009. The school costs $52 million, funded in part by a $37 million bond issue.