GULFPORT, MS - Around 80 private school students started their Thursday morning in a brand new building. Hope Academy in Florence Gardens opened its doors today.
The $6 million, 13,000-square-foot building had been in the planning stages since the old school in D'Iberville was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Hope Academy students spent the beginning of the year in a temporary location at the former Westminster Academy campus. Westminster Academy closed in May 2013 after 45 years of educating children.
Right now, the school houses pre-k through third grade, but the goal is to eventfully expand up to the 12th grade.
Hope Academy is considered the only private, non-denominational pre-k through 12th grade school in South Mississippi.