Hattiesburg Public School District talks of change

Hattiesburg Public School District talks of change

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Results from a facility condition audit of all Hattiesburg public schools were showcased during a community meeting Tuesday at Thames Elementary School.

The Bailey Education Group took center stage relaying to the community what can be done to create a better environment for students and faculty within the district. Those in favor are hoping the board will pass a more than $20 million bond issue to fund the project.

"You have to create an environment that's good for kids and there are some things that are more important than others, and those are some of the priorities," Gary Bailey said.

"It was a great meeting," Jerry Buisson said. "What they said was very pertinent. I'm so glad I came here."

Hattiesburg Public School District parents and community members listened in as members from Bailey Education Group pinpointed flaws in buildings and gave options on how to better improve buildings and classroom environments within the district.

"Because it has to do with improving the environment of the Hattiesburg schools and my sons have been Hattiesburg products," Buisson said. "It's for a better learning environment, teaching environment, and they put safety first in terms of the architectural stuff in perimeters and it doesn't involve raising taxes."

"The goal is we want to utilize this information to not only identify short range needs as it relates to the conditions of our facilities, but also identify and address long range areas of concern in our buildings," Superintendent Robert Williams said.

Williams outlined some of the problems they hope to tackle.

"Some of the areas of concerns speaks to some of the mechanical issues in our district as it relates to heating and cooling," Williams added. "Also, it will speak to some of the aesthetic appearance to some of the buildings to make those buildings more modernized."

The school board will have to make a final approval before any of the decisions move forward.

"Listen to these guys, go for it,"  Buisson said. "Look at the options. You deal with the budget, I don't know the budget, and everything they said was positive, made sense and was researched based."

If plans move forward there could be an election as early as May.