Parents more optimistic after attending HCSD bond issue meetings
HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The second of four public meetings to discuss the Harrison County School bond saw dozens of families turn out at River Oaks Elementary. Parents are feeling good about school improvements that won’t cost them any more money.
“At step one, I am definitely in favor of this,” said Holly Gibbs. “For years, my oldest is 22, and we’ve always dealt with overcrowding. We’ve dealt with safety issues.”
Gibbs was just one of dozens of parents who cheered for the job the Harrison County School District is doing to keep students safe. She has already seen one child through school and has three more in the district.
She said she had concerns at the start.
“Well I did in the beginning,” Gibbs said. “Everyone goes into a situation, and they need more information. Are the taxes going to go up? What is the phase two going to look like? What exactly are we doing for each of these schools?”
The informational meetings are setting hers and other parents' minds at ease.
"Coming to these informational meetings and actually stating my question and getting a good clear answer, my concerns have been answered," Gibbs said.
Eric Simmons took it upon himself to learn more about the bond issue.
“Just listen to what I’ve heard on the news and doing a little research,” Simmons said. “There’s really no questions. Questions I’ve had have been answered as far as what the bond’s going to be for, what they’re trying to do and what it’s going to cost the tax payers of Harrison County.”
The $55 million bond issue that Harrison County School District taxpayers will vote on in November would create a path to build two new schools and provide upgrades for a number of other schools in the district.
Both Simmons and Gibbs believe it's the right move.
“Any time you can build new schools, renovate old schools, and secure existing schools and not raise the taxpayers dollars, to me it’s a no-brainer,” Simmons said.
“What are we doing to keep these kids safe? Here’s the answer,” Gibbs said. “Now this is one of several things that we all know need to be done in our schools, but we have to start somewhere. So let’s go brick-and-mortar, and then let’s address everything else after that.”
If you weren’t able to attend either of the first two meetings, there are two more scheduled for next week. There will be one on Monday, Oct. 29 at Lyman Elementary and the final meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 1 at D’Iberville High School. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m.
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