GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Gaston Point Elementary closed its doors earlier this year leaving children in this community to enroll in other schools in the Gulfport School District. Climb CDC is breathing new life into the shuttered facility, but this time for adults and young adults.
John Whitfield, CEO of Climb CDC, is excited to bring the mothballed building back to life.
“The loss of a school has resulted in the gain of more professional opportunities that will be available to the community itself. The school provided education for the elementary kids. This is going to provide opportunities for the adults and the young adults in the community, and we really hope that will be a positive for the community," Whitfield said.
Climb CDC has relocated their administration offices and all programming to the school. Now that they have a building designed for educating large groups of people, the organization expects to add to their offerings.
“We will begin to engage in the same programming in the community that we have at other locations," Whitfield told WLOX. “We have added certified nursing assistants classes, medical assistants classes, dental assistants classes, and we will have an onsite psychologist to assist our students and the members of the community as they may have needs,” said Whitfield.
While officials with Climb CDC have big plans for their new Gaston Point Elementary School location, it does mean that they’ll be closing down the location on 30th Avenue.
“We’re going to continue to use the enrichment center for our senior exercise classes, senior dance classes and also have culinary classes there. We want to use it as a meeting center for the community of Gaston Point and the entire city of Gulfport, as far as that’s concerned. We invite the community to come and be a part of all that Climb CDC has to offer," Whitfield said.
Climb CDC isn’t the only tenant roaming the school’s halls. Ingalls Shipbuilding is currently instructing the newest class of tradesmen and women in their Ingalls Shipbuilding Academy. Mississippi Power is also currently in talks to bring a lineman class to the school.