Plans for new high school presented to Long Beach residents

Plans for new high school presented to Long Beach residents

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Long Beach residents will go to the polls on August 2nd to decide if a new high school will be built in the town.

On Thursday, supporters of the new school plan presented renderings and answered questions in a town hall meeting.

With student safety in mind, supporters are asking for a $20 million dollar bond for a new high school to be built. "It's vital that this school have the opportunity to be safer for our kids," said Carol Paola.

Paola is an elementary teacher in the Long Beach School District. She's leading the effort in building community support for a new school. Paola said right now the high school, built in the 50's, has 48 unlocked doors on the campus designed for students to go in and out of buildings.

"There are some hallways that don't have bathroom facilities so they must go into other hallways," Paola said. "The kids are moving around the campus all day long and it's because of that we must secure this campus."

The plan in many ways is modeled after the Gulfport High School renovation and is designed to remodel and rebuild on the current location.

If the bond passes, the scheduled date for completion would be 2021 in time for 8th grader Stokley Sawyer's senior year. He would like to see technological advances for the school become a reality. "Technology is changing over time and our school has been built over 50 years ago and it needs to be up to date with current things, said Sawyer.

The new school will come with a tax increase for property owners. The tax to pay for the bond would be based on home values. "If my daughter's home is valued at $200,000 hers will be $250 a year, that comes out to be about $20 a month," Paola said.

The proposal calls for the total number of entrances to the school to be reduced to four,  a new performing arts auditorium and new gym would also be built.

For more information on the high school proposal and to see how much a tax increase would be for home owners specific property CLICK HERE.

On August 2nd, the only polling location for the bond issue to be voted on by residents of Long Beach will be at Long Beach High School.

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