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$7 million grant helping schools hit by Katrina

school bus driver
Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker & Cindy Hyde-Smith, and Representative Steven Palazzo have announced the award of $6,976,600 to the Harrison County School District to complete a roof hardening project at eight schools impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

This grant follows a series of awards for Harrison County to complete wind protection on 19 approved school campuses, which can be used as “shelters of last resort” during emergencies.  Eleven schools have already been or are in the process of being completed. The upgrades will ensure the structures can withstand winds of up to 180 mph.

“This grant continues important work to protect Harrison County’s schools from the devastating impacts of high-powered winds,” Wicker said. “With stronger school buildings, the school district will be better prepared for the next storm and can focus on their most important job of educating our children.”

“This hazard mitigation funding is part of an ongoing effort to see that Harrison County schools are safe havens for children and the public. Retrofitting these school buildings to withstand destructive winds will help save lives and taxpayer funding over the long run,” Hyde-Smith said.

“The Mississippi Gulf Coast is no stranger to natural disasters, unfortunately.  While we can’t always predict the weather, one thing we can do is be prepared. This funding will allow our Harrison County schools to be prepared and work proactively to ensure a swift recovery in the wake of a natural disaster,” Palazzo said.

The grant will support the construction phase of the roof hardening at eight schools including:

  • West Wortham Elementary and Middle School – Saucier
  • Bel-Aire Elementary School – Gulfport
  • D’Iberville High School – D’Iberville
  • Lizana Elementary School – Gulfport
  • Saucier Elementary School – Saucier
  • Lyman Elementary School – Gulfport
  • Harrison County Child Development Center – Gulfport
  • Harrison County Alternative School & Administrative Center – Gulfport

This announcement will bring the total award for the Harrison County Schools wind retrofit project to a total federal share of $24,255,241.

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