GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The 75,000 square foot brick building is hard to miss on Three Rivers Road. Thursday will be the first day classes will be held at the new $12.4 million River Oaks Elementary School.
For students, starting over at a new school can be difficult, but school leaders and parents are working together to make the transition for students into a new school as smooth as possible.
"I'm excited for the families. I'm excited for the children to have a brand new facility," Dr. Shelly Simmons said.
This will be Simmons' seventh year as a principal in the Harrison County School District. She says being selected to be the head of a brand new school is simply an honor.
"I am very excited. I really consider this an honor to be allowed to be opening a new school, and the confidence and trust that my superintendent and school board members have in me, it's a tremendous honor," Simmons said.
Simmons says she understands that people handle change differently, and she's going to do what she can to make this change as easy for everyone as possible. The idea of having an open door policy sits very well with parents like Amanda Creel who is the mother of two students and an employee of River Oaks.
"It's great to have the open door policy. I have talked to Ms. Simmons, and I think she is excellent and she will do an excellent job with that open door policy," Creel said.
As students and parents take a look into their new school, it's easy to see the excitement on their faces, and the new school year seems to be very promising.
Some students from Woolmarket Elementary, Three Rivers Elementary, Bel-Aire Elementary and possibly Crossroads Elementary will be transferred to the new $12.4 million school.