HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - “As they come together as seventh graders, they will build that community, a family unit, knowing that I’m gonna be a Hurricane,” said Roy Gill, Harrison County School District’s Superintendent of Education.
Gill is anxious and excited to get the ball rolling on his newest addition to the school district family. After what Gill said was the longest year ever (after the bond issue passed), he said it’s time to get to work.
“The voters of Harrison County spoke loud and clear and passed the bond issue, and this is just one of the pieces of that. We’re here to begin the process of building the new West Harrison Middle School,” Gill said.
County officials said a little more than 2,000 houses have been built in the unincorporated areas of Harrison County since 2016. As the community grows, so will the education system in the county.
“Since West Harrison High has been here, we haven’t been able to build that community spirit, that community school atmosphere because we’ve had children from North Gulfport and from West Wortham," said West Harrison High School Principal Dana Trochessett.
Trochessett believes students will now be able to fully incorporate themselves into the West Harrison community.
“Now, we will be able to begin working with children in seventh grade all the way through twelfth grade, giving them West Harrison pride, giving them some ownership in the West Harrison High School community,” Trochessett said.
That pride and ownership begin with a fresh new school that students can call home. That home was designed by Matt Hardy of Hardy and Associates Architect.
“We’ve created different spaces within, like the band hall. We’ve put sound panels all over the walls to help so that the students can actually hear what they’re playing,” Hardy said. “We’ll have a softball and baseball playing field. We’ll also have a football playing field for the seventh and eighth grade. This gives them direct access from the school, in which they’ll be attending. We’re doing everything we possibly can to give the students the space, amenities and equipment that they need to be successful."
The new West Harrison Middle School is scheduled to open in August of 2021. The school was designed to be expandable. When necessary, the property will have the ability to add as many as 32 more classrooms with just a few minor modifications.