GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Demolition crews will soon return to Gulfport High School to tear down structures, and two buildings currently under construction will open.
A 40,000 square foot building will house the band program, choir, drama department and art classes.
"Out here is going to be a patio where they can come out and do artwork, or showcase some art," said Gulfport High Principal Mike Lindsey.
The Admiral Little Theatre has tiered seating for more than 200 people, dressing and changing rooms, and storage. The band hall features separate performing areas and break out rooms for smaller groups to practice. The Fine Arts Building and Athletic Field House should be finished by the end of July, and will be the first new structures to open at Gulfport High.
"It's exciting to see it go up in stages and in another month, we'll see the end result," said Lindsey, who says the Junior and Senior Institute Buildings seem to be the largest.
Construction on the institute buildings should wrap up by December. They will house academic classrooms, along with career and technical programs.
The new, grand entrance to the campus that now faces Courthouse Rd. will also be done by the end of the year.
"We have a distinct front of the school now that people can come to and our offices will be here," added Lindsey.
As buildings get ready to open, others will be coming down. Demolition is set to start in early June on the old field house and gym, little theatre, administration building, attendance office and counseling complex.
Staff has just days to pack up and move out.
"Busy yes, very busy," said Gulfport High Counselor Cecilia Zahedi, who will miss her office building. "It's emotional for me. I didn't think it would be. It's weird, it makes me cry."
Zahedi graduated from Gulfport High in 1991. She started her career at the school; first as an art teacher, then a counselor.
"The space is very precious to me. However, the students are still going to be our students and wherever we are, it's going to be great," added Zahedi.
The school construction project started about a year ago. The additions and renovations should be finished by August of 2017.