- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Voters will decide Tuesday on a bond issue to fund a new Gulfport High School.

The Sun Herald reports (https://bit.ly/1osHtbe) while most of $41.24 million would be used to build a new high school, more than $4 million would go toward sprucing up and adding classroom space at Bayou View Middle and Bayou View, Pass Road, Anniston and West elementary schools.

The project is expected to take about three years.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The new high school isn’t just about aesthetics.

“We’ve got to enhance safety,” said Bryan Caldwell, district director of athletics. “Right now at Gulfport High, there are 74 ways to enter the campus. It’s just not impossible to monitor all those entrances.”

The new school would have just four entrances, which would be monitored and have security cameras.

Officials also want to upgrade the look of the school.

“Statistically, we’re excellent, but our main high school is in need of an upgrade, because when folks are driving by looking at brand new high schools in other communities and look at ours, it makes them pause,” said Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes.

The school district’s 1996 bond issue will be paid off in 2016, when the new bond issue would take effect. Under the 1996 bond issue, the owner of a $100,000 house pays about $64. The new bond issue would cost those same taxpayers about $104.

“The school district was holding off doing any new work that would require a bond until the existing bond gets paid off,” school board attorney John Harral said. “In other words, there wouldn’t be two major bond issues in place at the same time that taxpayers would have to pay.”


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

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