A LOOK INSIDE: Natchez High School building project coming along

Published 5:15 am Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NATCHEZ — Natchez Adams School District Superintendent Fred Butcher said the new high school and renovated middle school built on the campus of Natchez High School would be one that Natchez should be proud of.

The buildings provide a leap to bring the campus into the 21st century, with a completely new design and security upgrades that show safety is the district’s top priority.

Restrooms feature no-touch sinks and hand dryers and will soon have “halo” sensors that will alert administrators of smoke or vaping in the restrooms, Butcher said.

Email newsletter signup

The entire high school and middle school campus would have gated entry and guard houses, similar to that of Alcorn State University, to welcome visitors and prevent potential threats from entering.

Furthermore, all entrances and exits, and interior wings of the new high school would be equipped with pushbutton locks, Butcher said, adding in if there was an active shooter, the district would be able to lock them out fast with a single push of a button.

“Every section will be able to lock down,” he said.

The new high school will also have student amenities not offered at the previous high school, such as information screens and charging stations inside the high school cafeteria and a technology classroom with a green room studio for teaching film classes.

Band and music rooms will have soundproofing so they can practice during the day without disrupting other classes.

The renovated high school, which will be the middle school, received a major facelift to the cafeteria, bathrooms and classrooms as well. Glass windows have been replaced with strong panels to inhibit intruders from breaking into them. Classrooms have been converted to have interior exits, also to stop threats and to limit the time students go unsupervised when transitioning between classes. A home economics classroom features a lab with kitchen and laundry stations.

Some administrative changes will also come with moving into a new high school building and consolidating middle schools next school year.

The new middle school, with as many students as the existing middle schools put together, will have three principals serving in different roles. Robert Lewis Magnet School Principal Latanya Dunbar will serve as instructional principal; Joseph Frazier Elementary Principal Orisha Mims will be the administrative principal and Warren Brown, formerly a social studies teacher, will be the interim assistant principal at the new Natchez Middle School.

According to the school district’s transition plan, the students at Frazier Elementary will be moved to the current Morgantown Middle School, which would become Morgantown Elementary. The middle school students at Robert Lewis and Morgantown Middle School would be merged into the new Natchez Middle School located at the current Natchez High School. Additionally, Natchez Freshman Academy and Natchez High School students would be merged into the new Natchez High School and the Ombudsman alternative school would be relocated to the current Natchez Freshman Academy.