- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 28, 2014

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - The Gulfport School District will soon see a new high school as well as improvements to five other schools in the district after overwhelming support from voters.

Complete, but unofficial, returns from Tuesday’s election show 81 percent of voters supported the $41 million bond issue. Bond issues require approval of 60 percent of those voting.

We had some people that didn’t want their taxes raised and we understand that. We agree with that. We don’t want new taxes either, but we also understand the importance of a new high school and what great public education means to the city,” said Steven Warren, the vice president of Gulfport School Board.

Superintendent Glen East said he hopes to have a construction timeline within two to three weeks, with Gulfport High being the top priority. The bond will also pay to add classroom space at Bayou View Middle and Bayou View, Pass Road, Anniston and West elementary schools.

The entire project is expected to take about three years.

A 1996 bond issue for Gulfport schools will be paid off in 2016, when the new bond issue will take effect. Under the 1996 bond issue, the owner of a $100,000 house pays about $64. The new bond issue will cost those same taxpayers about $104, so they’ll see an increase of about $40.

The new high school is expected to be built on the same property as the old school, off Courthouse Road. It will have significantly fewer entrances, to increase safety, East said.

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