- Associated Press - Sunday, March 9, 2014

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Harrison County School District officials say 620 students will be heading to class in a brand-new school building in the fall when River Oaks Elementary opens.

The $13 million project is scheduled to be completed by August. The new school will draw students from Bel-Aire and Woolmarket elementary schools, as well as Three Rivers Elementary.

Superintendent Henry Arledge told The Sun Herald (https://bit.ly/O1ytw3 ) the school district has come up with a map to show where students attending the new school will be coming from. He said many factors were taken into account when rezoning the area.

“First of all you want to keep families together, assuming their children are K-6,” he said. “You also want to keep neighborhoods together as best you can, and you also look at the transportation routes.”

Though students at some elementary schools will see a shift, there will be no change for the students at the middle and high school level.

“Wherever students are going to middle and high school, they’ll continue to go there,” Arledge said.

Parents whose children will be moving to River Oaks Elementary have been sent letters in the mail and home with their children, he said.

Arledge said with the growth and development in Harrison County, there has been a need for the new school.

“There’s a growth in the northwestern part of the county,” he said. “We know the population in this area is already out of proportion and growing.”

River Oaks Elementary will be home to 34 classrooms, a library, cafeteria, gymnasium and administrative wing.

A new principal, custodial and other staff will have to be hired. Arledge said teachers will be pulled from other Harrison County elementary schools to staff River Oaks. He said exact numbers have not been determined.

“It’s hard to say exactly what we’ll be looking at, because it’s all according to our numbers,” Arledge said. “Our numbers change almost daily with people moving in and out.”


Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com

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