Hancock North Central students are getting a new school

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Hancock County School District is in the process of adding a new school to replace Hancock North Central Elementary.

"We're excited about the new school and the promise it holds for our students," Schools Superintendent Alan Dedeaux said. "It's going to be a LEED school. The first in the state of Mississippi."

A LEED school means the 64,000 square foot building will be "green," and loaded with features designed to conserve energy.

"More natural lighting more windows in the building. We will have sensors on our lights," Superintendent Dedeaux said.

A portion of the building will be built to FEMA 361 standards, so it will be able to withstand 200 mile per hours winds.

"The federal government, they gave us a $2.1 million grant to fund this project to make it a safe and secure building for our students and community."

The new school will be able to accommodate 720 students.

"With the addition of the new Hancock North Central Elementary, all of our schools will be relatively new. It's going to put every child in Hancock County in a modern and up to date facility to learn," Dedeaux explained.

The progress is welcome, but comes with some nostalgia.

"A lot of sweet memories that I had there," former teacher and coach Rolland Ladner said.

Ladner taught at Hancock North Central when it was a high school and elementary school for 23-years, and even worked there with Brett Favre's dad.

"It was some wonderful memories. Sad to see it go, but you can't stand in the way of progress," Ladner said.

The new school is expected to open next fall. Until then, North Central students are attending class at West Hancock Elementary School.

A combination of funds from FEMA, the Hancock County School District and Katrina insurance proceeds are paying for the $13 million construction project.

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