GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A realignment plan in the Pascagoula School District in the upcoming school year will affect about 1,500 students in Gautier. The new Singing River Academy will open in August. That means many students who used to attend Singing River Elementary will be shifting to other campuses.
On Friday, Pascagoula Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich and several administrators took a tour of a $6 million addition to Singing River Elementary. The modern building will be part of the new Singing River Academy. Gautier sixth graders will move into the new building, while the fifth graders will remain on the Singing River Elementary side.
"What helps us is we have teachers who all are fifth and sixth grade teachers on the same campus. They can plan together. It helps to make a more cohesive curriculum for all the students to follow," said Rodolfich.
The expansion means an additional 16-classrooms, a computer lab, three science labs, and a large gym. There is also a choir room and band hall.
"So now, your bands will be together from fifth grade all the way to 12th grade, which we think is exciting. The same thing for choir and same thing for your athletic program. All your athletes are together now under one roof and they start building that continuity, that teamwork at a very early age," said Rodolfich.
The building comes equipped with latest technology.
"Every classroom will be outfitted with an Apple TV. Every teacher will have an iPad that they can manipulate the television from with their iPad," Rodolfich explained.
The building is also greener with motion-activated lights and programmable thermostats.
"Super excited. It's going to be awesome. I can't wait for our teachers to see it," said Rodolfich.
Teachers and staff will start moving into the new building next week. And when the academy opens, kindergarten through fourth graders at Singing River Elementary will transfer to Martin Bluff, College Park, or Gautier Elementary Schools.
The $6 million project was paid for with school district funds.