SuperTalk Mississippi

Pascagoula school addresses flooding issue, won’t close after all

Photo courtesy StockUnlimited

A Pascagoula elementary school won’t close their doors after all.

Earlier this week, the Pascagoula School District announced that Jackson Elementary would close for the 2018-19 school year due to flooding issues on the campus that could have potentially caused unsanitary conditions, but strides have been made to address the issue.

Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich says that after working with city officials, they believe that they have found a solution which will be implemented before the next school year begins. The plan involves installing eight “catch basins” and they will connect to certain city water lines to divert water off of the school’s campus. The city will also create shallow retention ponds to help address the problem.

“There’s a lot of things that have to take place in a very short amount of time, but the city feels confident that they can do everything that we’ve asked them to do without having to ask for any variances or anything like that, and we can get it done for the right amount of money,” Rodolfich said.

The original plan was to move the 340 students and the teachers to three other schools in the district, and no jobs were set to be lost. Rodolfich said that they worked to find this solution to ensure that the moving process would not have to occur.

“If we were to evacuate that school, that means all of the technology would have to be disassembled and put up in other schools, all the teacher’s belongings would have to move to other schools, so we wanted to look at any way to avoid that. I wanted to make sure that if I can solve that problem, then we’re going to solve the problem and make it as convenient for our students and teachers as possible. That’s what we’ve done, and we were cooperated well with by the city on this,” he said.

While convenience played a part, the most important factor was the safety of all those involved while ensuring the issue could be properly fixed.

“It’s very important that we create the safest environment for our children and teachers before we do anything else,” Rodolfich said.

The project is expected to cost less than $50,000 to fix after working with engineers and city officials to determine the best course of action. The plan of diverting students and teachers to other schools may be used as a contingency plan.

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