Clear, sunny skies and backhoes provided a beautiful backdrop for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new West Harrison Middle School. On November 6, 2019, Harrison County School District leaders, elected officials, and other special guests gathered to celebrate the start of construction on the new school. The groundbreaking was held exactly a year after voters overwhelmingly approved a $55 million bond issue for various projects to accommodate growth and upgrade security in the District.
“The voters of Harrison County spoke loud and clear of the need for the expansion. Our county is growing by leaps and bounds. We must thank the voters in the Harrison County School District for supporting the bond issue to make this possible to fund the new West Harrison Middle School,” said HCSD Superintendent Roy Gill.
According to Harrison County Supervisor Angel Kibler-Middleton, over 2,000 new homes have been approved for the unincorporated areas of Harrison County over the last few years. The new middle school will be located on 21411 Landon Road. The property is just north of West Harrison High School. The new school will help relieve overcrowding at North Gulfport Middle School and West Wortham Middle School. All 7th and 8th graders who are zoned to attend West Harrison High School will be attending the new West Harrison Middle School.
“As they come together as 7th graders, they will build that community, that family unit, knowing ‘I will be a Hurricane as I enter high school,’” said Gill.
The new school will be about 102,786 square feet in size. It will have 48 classrooms, practice fields for football, baseball and softball, a band hall, Smartboards in every classroom, and the latest security features.
“It’s a very large building. We tried to incorporate a lot of new technology, new state-of-the-art band hall with sound panels, new gymnasium that can accommodate two practices going on at any time, to help with the number of kids they are going to have in the facility,” said Project Architect Marty Hardy. “We also designed it so it can be easily expandable for the future, which is vital. I feel it’s going to be of great use,” said Hardy. “We tried to think about everything in the community. We tried to make sure they progress, they have places to go, they have safe places to be,” expressed Hardy.
Classes are scheduled to begin at West Harrison Middle School in August of 2021. The estimated initial enrollment is 750 students, and the campus has enough space for future expansion.
“As we continue to grow, our district will have to continue to grow. I’m just pleased to have the support of everyone here,” said Gill. “With no further ado, it’s time to get to work!”
The new West Harrison Middle School will cost just over $26 million.