- Associated Press - Sunday, September 7, 2014

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) - DeSoto County school officials are preparing to add eight classrooms at DeSoto Central Middle School in Southaven to relieve crowding.

The project is the latest in a string of additions to accommodate growth in the 42-school DeSoto system, which is Mississippi’s largest school system, The Commercial Appeal reports (https://bit.ly/1og4I6t).

Thomas Spencer, the district’s associate superintendent of Business and Finance, wants to hold the cost to $1.5 million.

Spencer said he hopes construction can begin quickly because Superintendent Milton Kuykendall wants the expansion completed by the beginning of the next school year.

“I want it finished before parents start calling me about it,” Kuykendall joked.



Board members this week approved hiring Allen & Hoshall as the architect for the project. They also, in a separate vote, approved taking bids to get the project underway once plans are ready.

The project is similar to recent additions at three other elementary schools - Hernando, Hernando Hills and Southaven. Four classrooms were added at Hernando and Hernando Hills, while Southaven got eight classrooms in a separate building.

In each case, the expansions were needed to accommodate ever-expanding enrollments. DeSoto has more than 32,000 students on 42 campuses.

Once the latest expansion is completed, Spencer said, there are no current plans for additions anywhere else, though he said the district is always assessing needs.

The school system completed a $60 million, multiyear expansion program in 2010 in its last major expansion.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, https://www.commercialappeal.com

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