Saturday, May 13, 2006

Pearlington Gulfview School

New school on high ground - Site work will begin soon
HANCOCK COUNTY - Construction could begin sometime in the spring on a new elementary school for students in Lakeshore and Pearlington, according to district officials.
School Board President Morgan Ladner said site preparation for the new school will soon begin at the old Gulfview Elementary location at the corner of Lower Bay Road and Lakeshore Drive. The board voted this week on the location.
Gulfview Elementary and Charles B. Murphy Elementary were demolished after Hurricane Katrina struck last year. Since the storm, students have been forced to drive more than 12 miles to classes on the high school campus near Stennis International Airport.
"This is good news for the people in the southern portion of the county," Ladner said. "We plan to have a state-of-the-art facility, the best on the Coast, for the students of Pearlington and Lakeshore."
In order to use federal funds to help build the school, the district has to meet FEMA's flood guidelines, which means rebuilding on high ground.
District officials recently narrowed a list of potential sites for the new school to two properties: The Gulfview campus and property along Lower Bay Road near U.S. 90.
Ladner said the Gulfview campus is higher above the flood plain than the other property and the district would not have to purchase any land.
"The deciding factor was that this was the highest of the two," he said.
Ladner said parents and students will likely come up with a list of suggested names for the new school and then the school board will select one. In addition, students may determine a mascot and the school colors.

Added 8/4
Time running out on 2 elementary schools
HANCOCK COUNTY - More than four months after they were bulldozed, the future of two elementary schools here still is uncertain and education leaders are running out of options.
Gulfview Elementary and Charles B. Murphy Elementary spent decades tucked away in the county's tiniest communities, where it was still mostly safe to walk or ride a bike to school.
As last year in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, elementary children in Lakeshore and Pearlington next week will again be forced to drive more than 12 miles to classes on the high school campus near Stennis International Airport.
Hancock School District officials are running out of possible places to rebuild the Katrina-damaged schools to meet FEMA's flood guidelines.
According to education officials, in order to use federal funds to rebuild the schools, both campuses will need to move to higher ground, which is hard to find nowadays in Hancock County.
"We are looking at different options and nothing has been decided at this point," Hancock Superintendent David Kopf said. "FEMA says we can go up or out."
Kopf said the school district could look for land "out" of Pearlington and Lakeshore, or it can rebuild the schools at their original locations, but the buildings would have to go "up," meaning they would have to be high enough to meet FEMA's flood-elevation requirements.
Charles B. Murphy Elementary was built in the 1960s for children displaced from now-extinct communities such as Logtown, Gainsville and Napoleon, which were made to vanish when NASA established its Stennis buffer zone on more than 100,000 acres of county land.
Several generations passed through the halls of Gulfview Elementary, which survived hurricanes in 1947 and 1969. FEMA inspectors deemed the schools unsalvageable and they were destroyed, according to county education officials.
FEMA has used a 50 percent destruction standard to determine whether a building is salvageable. Under the rule, if FEMA inspectors believe it will cost more than 50 percent of a building's worth to restore it, the structure is considered destroyed.
Not everyone believes Gulfview was beyond repair.
Former county Supervisor Jerry Ladner is leading a charge of Lakeshore residents who want answers. They have requested copies of the engineer's report and photos that prove the school was beyond saving.
"All I want to see is the engineer's report from where (FEMA said) the school needed to be destroyed," Ladner said.
A school-district secretary confirmed she had seen requests from Ladner, but could not say whether the district had supplied the group with the report.
Kopf said Donnie Golston, assistant superintendent, has the engineer's reports and records regarding the two schools. Golston did not return messages left Thursday by the Sun Herald seeking copies of the report.
In addition to concerns the school may have been unnecessarily destroyed, some locals fear the county will sell the school land to help restore its budget.
Gulfview is located at a popular intersection along Lakeshore Road, at the end of which developers are set to build hundreds of luxury condo units and two casinos.
"I'm not ever going to vote to sell that land to Paradise Island or whatever it is," said School Board member Packer Ladner, referring to Paradise Properties, a development firm planning to build 14 separate projects valued at more than $5 billion in Hancock County.

Added 7/19
(Gulfview and Charles B Murphy are being merged)
From Lakeshore Baptist Church:
School Uniform Drive
The children of Lakeshore head back to school in mid-August after their summer break. While crews complete the demolition of storm damaged Gulfview Elementary School, kids return to the make-shift temporary buildings housed 25 miles north of their community. The long commute, loss of friends, mixed school district, unfamiliar surroundings, and homework in FEMA campers leave families and teachers yearning for a little normalcy. The reinstituted dress code should provide a small step in that direction.

Lakeshore Baptist Church plans to distribute school uniforms as a wonderful ministry opportunity. You can help by sending dress code approved items to Lakeshore Baptist Church, 6028 Lakeshore Road, Lakeshore MS 39558. Please label as “School Uniform Drive.”

Dress Code
All shirts must be solid colors, white, navy blue, royal blue, or red.
Students may wear button down (Oxford/pointed collar or Peter Pan/Rounded collar), knit polo (2 or 3 button closure), or turtlenecks.
Shirts may be long or short sleeve, with or without pockets.
Shirts must have plain fronts without trim, lace, ruffles, pleats, etc.
Crop tops, Midriff shirts, or tight fitting shirts are not allowed.
Shirts may not carry visible trademarks, brand logos, writing, etc.
All pants, slacks, and shorts must be solid navy blue or khaki (tan, beige, or similar).
The length of shorts must be mid-thigh or longer.
Girls may wear caprise.
Pants, slacks, and shorts may be pleated or un pleated, cuffed or uncuffed, with or without elastic, but must be hemmed.
Wash-n-wear or permanent press fabric only; Denim, stretch material/spandex fabric, velour or fleece is not allowed.
Cargo or carpenter styles or bellbottoms are not allowed.
Very small trademark or logo is allowed.
Jumpers, skirts, culottes, and skorts must be solid navy blue or khaki (tan, beige, or similar).
The length must not be higher than four (4) inches above the top of the knee.
Jumpers may be V-neck or round neck.
Skirt style must be box pleat, knife pleat, A-line, kilt style or flared style.
Wash-n-wear or permanent press fabric.
Denim, stretch material/spandex fabric, velour or fleece is not allowed.
Cargo style skirts are not allowed.
Students may wear sweaters, vests,sweatshirts, or fleece in either cardigan-button down, pullover-scoop, or V-neck or zip up styles.
Outerwear must be solid colors, white, navy blue, royal blue, or red.
Shirts may not carry visible trademarks, brand logos, writing, etc.
Coats and jackets may have hoods and may be any color.
Trademarks and logos are allowed.
Coat length is limited to mid-thigh,
Trench coats are not allowed.

From the Seacoast Echo :

7/30 From WLOX The combined Gulfview Charles B Murphy Elementary school wasn't built to be beautiful. "Well, the trailers were nasty, and it was pretty hard to learn and stuff," says 5th grader Sidney Klein. Thrown together after hurricane Katrina destroyed their schools, Gulfview and Charles Murphy students were facing another year in temporary classrooms on this bare vacant lot behind Hancock County Middle School. "It was extremely difficult both physically and emotionally," says principal Jan White. But volunteers from the tiny town of Barnard, Vermont are changing all that. "We raised the money about 10 thousand dollars," says Eric Tobiason of Barnard, Vermont. "We put together this building and the people to come down and do it. Teaming with parents, teachers and other relief workers, volunteers with the Barnard Helping Hands Katrina Relief Project are building an outdoor classroom, and landscaping the campus in just one weekend. "They saw how the trailers looked on the red clay," says principal White. "And they saw where the students had lived and where the schools were, and they decided then they were going to do something for us." "This will give them a place to be outside so they don't have to be crammed into a trailer," says Tobiason. "It'll be a pleasant place to be." Parent Pam Lafontaine defines it another way. "New and a more positive atmosphere," says Lafontaine. That's something parents, teachers and students alike say they're looking forward to from the 2006-2007 school year. "This was the motivator for us to move from survival into the astectic aspect," says White. "This is going to be a great year for us. That's our plan. And this is the beginning of it." by Don Culpepper


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