Long Beach officials tour the city's aging high school

Long Beach officials tour the city's aging high school
On Friday, Long Beach Mayor George Bass and other city leaders toured Long Beach High School, a facility they say is in desperate need of an upgrade. (Photo source: WLOX)

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - On Friday, Long Beach Mayor George Bass and other city leaders toured Long Beach High School, a facility they say is in desperate need of an upgrade. Voters will go to the polls in that city this summer to decide on a $20 million bond issue that would start the process toward a new high school.

"I got to looking at it and I started doing some research and I realized that this school is 60 years old this year," Bass said. "That's not acceptable folks. We've got to do something better, and we are going to do something better."

Two of the main reasons why Mayor Bass and the steering committee want to get the bond passed this summer are age and security. The school was originally built in 1958, and there are exactly 47 entry points on campus.

Long Beach Police Chief Billy Seals said all those entry points make the current security situation frightening for him and his staff.

"With 47 entrances and exits, it's impossible. It's a nightmare," Seals said. "There's no way to control who comes on this campus and who does not. We've worked with Homeland Security and with an anti-terrorism group with Keesler on threat assessments here, and they're saying the same thing: This school is a nightmare."

In 2005, a bond issue for a new high school failed. Thirteen years later, Mayor Bass and others hope history doesn't repeat itself.

"We need to do something to protect our children, and that's what this effort is for," Bass added. "The protection of our children and providing them with the newest technology to live with, to give them the facilities to have a choir presentation, to do a play presentation here to our students. They're lacking that right now."

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