$55 million school bond should not cost Harrison Co. taxpayers much

$55 million school bond should not cost Harrison Co. taxpayers much
Parents and students look at renderings of what the new schools and renovations will look like. (Source: Ray Price)

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Harrison County School District is looking to grow in the next two years.

With more than 15,000 students presently enrolled, district officials say schools are getting too crowded. They proposed a solution that includes building brand new schools and upgrading existing ones.

"People are going to ask, how much is it going to cost me?,'" said Harrison County schools Superintendent Roy Gill

According to the district, it will cost taxpayers nothing, if anything at all.

The school district expects the new bond for the upgrades and construction to be paid off over the next 20 years based on current sources of income available in the district and anticipated growth in the future. That’s just another way of saying they expect to pull the money from new business and and people moving into the county. The district recently paid off a debt, and officials say it will apply those funds to the new debt. All of these details come together in hopes of no tax increases if things go as planned.

The price tag on the project stands at $71 million with $16 million coming from the district. The rest of the $55 million is the bond issue for voters to approve in November. People in support of the bond say the long-term effects for students outweigh the current cost.

"We need to invest in them and help them be successful. There's no better to set them up for success than providing a quality education," said Tammy Rouse, a supporter of the bond.

The district beilives that building two new schools in West Harrison and D’Iberville will reduce the overcrowding problem the district has been facing. Parents say they can get on board with that.

"That would be wonderful about the class reduction size for those students so that the teachers are able to do one-on-one work with the students," said Stacy Key, who has a child enrolled in the school district.

The Harrison County School district is also planning to bolster security in some schools, and build new classrooms, restrooms, and a gym at North Gulfport Middle School.

The estimated date of completion on the project is August 2020, just in time for the start of a new school year.

For more information on this project click here.

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