COPY-Fresh start for Lamar County students

Nearly 700 students in Sumrall are heading to class in a brand-new school.  The new Sumrall Elementary is just one of several new schools Lamar County is welcoming this year.

The coming school year is expected to be an exciting one for the teachers, staff and students of the new Sumrall Elementary School. Officials welcomed the new building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.

"We are very excited to have such a nice facility to move into," says principal Daniel Sumrall. "We've been overcrowded for the last several years, with some older facilities, some of our our buildings at the old site were close to a hundred years old."

Third grade teacher Karin Patterson already has her classroom prepared for her students. For Patterson this new classroom space is a big upgrade from her previous room.

"I taught in one of the oldest buildings in Sumrall in the old auditorium," she says. "The floor was drooping, I had to watch where I was stepping. It's quite a change coming into this nice building and everything is so fresh and painted and we are ready to go."

This school and other new schools in the county were built with a $43 million bond issue that passed two years ago.

Sumrall Elementary and two schools in Purvis and Oak Grove will open by the start of school next week.

"And then in January we plan to open our two and three elementary school in Oak Grove," says Glenn Swan, Lamar County superintendent.

Other countywide school construction projects have already been completed while others are being worked on.

— reported by Colleen Donovan in Sumrall