Leaders rally support for Gulfport Job Corps center - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Leaders rally support for Gulfport Job Corps center

(Photo source: WLOX) (Photo source: WLOX)

Gulfport leaders say if the U.S. Department of Labor doesn't sign a memorandum of agreement by July 31, Gulfport will lose $30 million to restore the city's Job Corps complex.

On Saturday, leaders held a barbecue in the community to rally together support the restoration of the 33rd Avenue High School building. 

"33rd has always been very dear to my heart. My entire family went to 33rd and we just always looked at it and maintained it in our heart," said alumna Gwendolyn Hawthorne-Dunlap. 

City leaders recently approved multi-million dollar plans to rebuild the center. When they voted for the project, they found a way to incorporate a small section of the high school building into the plans.

Gulfport Chief Administrative Officer Dr. John Kelly says two architects determined much of the campus is too damaged to be included in the rebuilt job corps. 

"They will demolish as much of this as they need to demolish and new construction will go around the facade," said Kelly. 

Dr. Kelly, Harrison County supervisor Kent Jones and other community leaders realize they need support to make sure Gulfport doesn't lose the federal funding.

"If we lose this $30 million to rebuild this center, I would imagine I would feel like I were hit in the gut by Mike Tyson," said Kelly

In addition to food and fellowship, those in attendance signed petitions that will be sent to the Department of Labor.

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