Biloxi district gives WLOX first tour of new junior high school

Biloxi district gives WLOX first tour of new junior high school

On Friday, Biloxi school district leaders gave WLOX a tour of the new campus at Biloxi Junior High.

On the main academic wings, the walls are up, steel decking is installed, and concrete is being poured on the second floor. It will house 51 classrooms, the front entrance, and administrative offices.

"It looks massive right now. When you come in, it's going to have that wow factor. But once you get in the building, I think you're going to see us really drop down to functional and efficient," said Biloxi Schools Superintendent Arthur McMillan.

Other structures are taking shape, including the STEM, computer and science labs, food court-style cafeteria and two full-size gyms.

"We can run two basketball games, two volleyball games simultaneously, with seating and a stage," said Biloxi Schools Chief Financial Officer Shane Switzer.

The fine arts wing has plenty of room for strings, band, show choir and piano classes. The campus was designed to meet students' needs, from comfort and safety to technology.

"It's state-of-the-art infrastructure with electrical, mechanical. It's got a chill water system, so the cooling costs will be lower. It'll be LED lighting, so it's a very energy-efficient building, with lots of band width capabilities for multi-media purposes," said Brad Patano, Engineer.

The new building is going up next to the high school. It can accommodate up to 1,300 seventh and eighth graders.

"This is a great opportunity, a great setting for a lot of exciting things to happen here, educationally, fine arts, athletically. It's exciting," said McMillan.

The $35.5 million project should be finished by July of 2017.

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