HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Tuesday was moving day for the Hancock County School District’s administrative office.
The employees moved a mile north on Highway 603 into their new 7,000 square-foot office building. It includes a 60-kilowatt solar array that will save about $10,000 a year in electricity costs.
The district’s school board will hold its first meeting in the new administration building Thursday night.
That $2.2 million building is the final major project for the district to complete from a $16.5 million bond project.
Most of the money from the bond issue was spent at the 30-year-old high school. Among the more visible upgrades are new classrooms in the fine arts building, improvements to the Career Technical Center, and the school’s gym, along with a new field house, concessions and entrance to the football stadium and 10 new busses. Other less-visible improvements will save the district money in operating costs.
“HVAC, new LED lighting. The projects we have in the works are going to be a big money saver in the long run,” said Alan Dedeaux, Hancock County Superintendent of Education. “We can take that money and put it toward our students to make sure that they get the things they need to be successful.”
The bond issue passed in 2019 was the second for the district in the last ten years. Both were done without a tax increase. The first was paid off in eight years, and they expect to do the same with the current one. None of it would be possible, Dedeaux said, without strong community support.
“Whenever we need something, whenever our schools need some help in any area, our community is there to help pick us up and take us across that finish line,” he said. “And it all pays off for our children.”
Another move was to relocate the district’s IT department into a new building on the junior high/high school campus where they can serve 70% of their students with better efficiency.
“We want to continue to make our schools, our facilities, state-of-the-art. Some of the things that we’ve done over the past several years has put us in that position,” Dedeaux said.