Lopez to serve as new alternative school

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After weeks of testimony from concerned parents and city leaders, the Biloxi School Board decided Tuesday night to re-purpose Lopez Elementary School.

"You're creative, you're smart, you're intelligent people," said Biloxi resident Lucy Denton. "You can come up with a way to make everyone in this room happy."

Plenty of people had their opinions on what the Biloxi School Board should do with one of three elementary schools.

"I'm here to remind you that you represent this community. And if the community wants these schools to stay open, then you do whatever you can to keep them open," said Denton.

After weeks of going back and forth over whether to close Gorenflo, Lopez or Beauvoir Elementaries, the school board made a decision: to re-purpose Lopez Elementary.

"I think the school board has looked at this very closely. I don't think they have considered it lightly. They toured the schools and they did their due diligence before making this decision," said Dr. Paul Tisdale.

Dr. Tisdale said enrollment at Lopez is down, it's much older than the other schools, and two nearby elementary schools have room for its students.

Parents have argued that the school is at the center of its community. Not to mention that it's a level five school. However, that didn't change the minds of board members.

Lopez Elementary will be re-purposed next school year as an alternative school. Current students of Lopez will be bused to nearby Gorenflo and Jeff Davis Elementary Schools.