A decision to close a Pascagoula elementary school has been reversed. Now, officials there are preparing for a busy summer of repairs.
Two days after announcing that Jackson Elementary was going to be closing for the upcoming school year, the Pascagoula Gautier School District reversed that decision.
The school has been plagued with flooding and drainage issues for years. "We've done everything from irrigation, top dirt work, to drains, to pumps," said Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich.
The problem had become so bad that heavy rains would be a major disruption, making it almost impossible for students and teachers to get around on campus according to the principal, Dr. Caterria Payton.
"Sometimes it's like this for weeks at a time and sometimes our children can't have outdoor recess," she said while looking over a playground with pools of water under the equipment.
Rodolfich said it originally looked like needed repairs that would exceed $50,000. The cost would require the district to advertise for bids on the job and cut into the budget for the next school year. But, after meeting with the city, he said a plan was made to keep the costs under that cap and start work as soon as school let out for the summer.
This was welcomed news for teachers like Michelle McMillan. "We were shocked. We weren't quite prepared for the news. But, it's always wonderful to know that we can stay here and continue that work," said McMillan.
Parents, like Diamond Fordham, were glad to hear that their children weren't going to have to relocate to another campus for the next school year.
"They're the best as far as curriculum, the way they get the kids in and out in the evening time, the best. I just love the all around experience of Jackson Elementary. They're awesome," she said.
According to Rodolfich, the work will allow for rainwaters to easily drain off the campus.