GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Now that Gulfport voters have shown overwhelming support for a $41 million bond issue, what's next? On Wednesday, school district leaders met to begin finalizing the schedule for the demolition and construction of a new Gulfport High School.
For taxpayers in the school district, they could start paying higher property taxes early next year. For future high school students, they're looking forward to setting foot in a brand, new building.
They have been counting down to the last day of school, but this time, there's a different sense of anticipation for the students at Bayou View Middle School.
"I'm really excited. I'm really excited, because I get to go to the new high school," said eighth grader Emily Boggess.
The day after Gulfport voters passed a $41.2 million bond issue, the students are already thinking of how the state-of-the-art school, with its unique Academic Institutes, will change the way they learn.
"Learning in the new school, we had heard about the first time and I thought 'Wow! We finally get to be in a newer school because other schools have been upgraded from Katrina,'" said seventh grader Aubrey Christian. "I think it'll be great to learn in the new facilities and we'll be able to learn better with the new technology, and we'll get better classrooms as well."
"I think we'll have new technology that will better our education, and it'll be safer with fewer doors," said Emily.
The new Gulfport High will be built in phases on the same property and is expected to take about three years to complete. Depending on the demolition and construction schedule, the eighth graders could be the first seniors to graduate from the new school.
"I think that's really special and neat to be able to say that our class is going to be the first to graduate from there," said eighth grader Catherine Karl. "I'm really excited for a new school even if we're only going to have it probably for about a year. I think it's going to make the campus a lot more safe with not as many entrances, and it's going to provide a much better learning environment."
While district leaders are deciding which building on the 50-year-old campus will come down first, the students are looking forward to being a part of that historic moment.
The Gulfport School Board must still certify the election results during its June 3rd meeting. This is a 20 year bond issue, so it's set to expire in 2035.
The bond issue will also fund additional classroom space at five other schools in Gulfport.