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Officials break ground on new school

By HUNTER CLOUD

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Local elected officials and community leaders along with members of the Natchez-Adams School Board and builders broke ground Friday afternoon to make way for construction of a new Natchez High School.

The ceremony was held on the site of the proposed 103,000-square-foot, $20.7 million one-story Natchez High School building that will be built just north of the existing high school on an area known as the “bean field.”

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson along with other dignitaries spoke on the importance of investing in the future beginning with the new high school to train the workforce of tomorrow.

The Rev. Melvin White, pastor of Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, led the group in prayer and asked for God to bless the school.

Adams County Board of Supervisors President Ricky Gray said the city of Natchez and Adams County was sending out a message for businesses and people who want to move to Natchez.

“This school will give them something Mrs. Newsome had — a sense of pride,” Gray said, speaking of longtime educator Thelma Newsome. “That is what we had at North Natchez when I was there. We had pride. I think this new school will give the community and our kids a sense of pride.”

Don M. Barron Contractor Inc. is the contractor on the project.

The high school will have classical columns and be a similar design to Union Parish’s high school in Farmerville, Louisiana, Don M. Barron said.

Baron is a Union Parish taxpayer who worked on the Union Parish project, and he said both the Union Parish school board and the students enjoyed the Union Parish project.

“I hope it brings as much excitement to this community as the project we just completed,” Barron said.

Work on the high school, Barron said, would begin after the first of the year. By then a job site trailer will be there. Adding the project should take about 18 months and is planned to open in August 2022.

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