Growing, Growing, Growing…

  DeSoto County Schools conducts construction projects over the summer to upgrade and improve facilities, according to Jerry White, director of plant maintenance.

Growing, Growing, Growing…

A bright new hallway greeted students at Hope Sullivan when they began the new school year.

     Summer is rarely vacation time for the Plant Maintenance Department.   

     DeSoto County Schools conducts construction projects over the summer to upgrade and improve facilities, according to Jerry White, director of plant maintenance. He gave a report to the Board of Education, reviewing the projects completed and the projects on the drawing board. 

     “All of the new classrooms were completed before school started, with the exception of Hernando Elementary,” White said.  “Weather delayed the start of this project, so we did not finish it until the first week in September.  Their new building contains two kindergarten classrooms, and two first grade classrooms in a ‘stand alone’ building in the middle of their school campus,” he said. 

     “We are so grateful to have these four beautiful new classrooms,” said HES Principal Renee Triplett.  “Students, parents, and teachers love this new state-of-the-art facility.” 

     Other construction projects included new flooring at Hernando High School (resurfaced office and reception area), Southaven High School (gym lobby), Shadow Oaks Elementary School (cafeteria), Hope Sullivan Elementary School  (19 classrooms and two hallways), Horn Lake Intermediate School (main foyer), and Southaven Middle School (PE building and counselors wing).   

     Windows were installed and doors were replaced at Olive Branch Intermediate School.  A lighting project to upgrade efficient LED lighting at Center Hill Elementary School was completed.  Hernando High School finished phase II of their HVAC project to upgrade and replace their cooling and heating systems.  At Lewisburg High School, tennis courts were resurfaced.  

      Supt. Cory Uselton also discussed two large construction projects in the works with the School Board.  DeSoto Central High School will add a ninth grade academy building, set to be completed in 2020, and Lewisburg attendance area will get a new Lewisburg Middle School in 2021. 

The 9th Grade Academy at DeSoto Central will be patterned after the two-story 9th Grade Academy at Southaven High.

    "The new ninth grade academy will be built on the northern portion of the DeSoto Central High School campus, and it will be attached to the existing structure," Uselton said.

     The state Department of Education recently approved DCS plans to build a new middle school for the Lewisburg attendance zone.  Seeing the need, Supt. Uselton said the district has been working toward this addition for two years.  Plans are to locate the new facility six miles to the south on land south of the Coldwater River on the west side of state Highway 305. 

     “The current Lewisburg school zone has experienced a 13 percent increase in enrollment since 2016, and demographers project a similar growth to continue throughout the upcoming decade,” Supt. Uselton said. 

     “The current Lewisburg primary, elementary, and middle schools have all expanded within the last three years, but are all still near or at capacity,” he said.   

     Supt. Uselton also announced plans for upcoming classroom additions at DeSoto Central Middle School, Hernando Hills Elementary School, and Hernando Middle School.

     “Because of conservative financial practices, DeSoto County Schools will be able to complete these construction projects without raising taxes,” Uselton said.