GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport High students will have to learn to avoid construction areas when they return to school in a few weeks.
This summer, crews have been busy tearing down buildings, repairing old drains, and getting ready to build a new Gulfport High. Construction is set to start during the first nine weeks of school.
Gulfport High students can expect to see a lot of dirt, construction equipment, and fencing. Four buildings have been demolished in the first phase of the new Gulfport High project.
Crews are completing the dirt work and preparing to lay the foundation for the Fine Arts Building, 11th and 12th grade Academic Building, and the Athletic Field House. Since most of the work will take place on the outer edges of the campus, students won't have to dodge construction zones.
"As you can see, we've got fencing around near the construction areas. So most of the movements with the students is not going to be affected," said Gulfport High Principal Mike Lindsey.
One big change they will have to deal with is parking. With draining improvements taking place by the ninth grade building, students will have to park in a parking lot on Loposser Avenue. The area to pick up and drop off students will also move to the Perry St. parking lot. Reserved visitor parking will be on Perry St. as well.
"That's probably the biggest issue, maybe the biggest inconvenience, maybe a little bit more walking for students to get to the campus from the parking areas," said Lindsey. "It may cause them to maybe walk around an area, and may not be able to cut through a courtyard or cut through an area, but I don't think they'll see much of a difference."
And with one academic building gone, the school has had to create some temporary classrooms by using available space in the library and multipurpose rooms.
Brianna Henderson got her first look at the construction Wednesday. She just moved from Hattiesburg, and is getting ready to start her freshman year at Gulfport High.
"It's really exciting, a fresh start. I would love to see a new school being rebuilt," said Brianna.
"I think they'll be surprised, and we've seen several come up and I think they're excited," said Lindsey. "It may take us a little more time to change the routines of what we've done over the last 10 or 15 years, but I think everything's going to be good."
The school will be calling parents this week to notify them of the changes. Also, they'll get more information during registration next week.The first day of school in Gulfport is August 13th.