Pascagoula-Gautier School District experiences post-Katrina progress

Pascagoula-Gautier School District experiences post-Katrina progress

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - When Hurricane Katrina's wind and water came barreling through South Mississippi, hundreds of schools were damaged and destroyed.

Ten years later, many have bounced backed bigger and better, including the Pascagoula-Gautier School District.

Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich was tasked with leading the post Katrina cleanup effort. The 19 schools in the district weren't down for long.

"We were in school in less than 45 days; it is really a blur to me now. Our teachers mobilized, and our teachers would leave there own homes, which were damaged, come to the schools and help clean them out," said Rodolfich.

Thanks to the dedicated staff, donations, volunteer groups, grant funding and much more, once ravaged schools such as Trent Lott Academy were renovated.

"Katrina was devastating to us," said teacher Sybil Wilner. "We use to be just a battleship gray around our building, but now we have beautiful white tile with the Pascagoula colors. Our floors are beautiful and our rooms have all been made over."

There has also been new construction since the storm hit the coast, including new state-of-the-art computers and other tech gadgets to create 21st Century classrooms.

"I think we have put up 12 brand new buildings in the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. We have actually added three band halls since Katrina," said Rodolfich

".....we received a grant from Chevron. We were able to upgrade our technology by $100,000. We were able to increase our bandwidth in the Pascagoula School District from 45 megabytes per second to over 10,000 megabytes per second during that same time, which puts us above the national average," said Rodolfich.

Superintendent Rodolfich said over the past 10 years, the district received around $70 million for post-Katrina rebuilding efforts and infrastructure upgrades.

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