Board hears plans for scaled-back new Natchez High School

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NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi district is scaling back the size of a new high school it is planning to build.

The new Natchez High School will cost about $16 million and will be built near the current one. The Natchez Adams School District will also spend $9 million to renovate and equip the current Natchez High to become a middle school.

In May 2017, Adams County voters rejected a $35 million bond issue for a new high school and renovations at two elementary schools.

After that, the school district proceeded with a tax increase for a scaled-back new high school, the Natchez Democrat reported. Some citizens sued and put the project on hold until earlier this year, when the suits were settled out of court. The district will finance part of the project with a trust certificate.

Representatives of Volkert Inc., a construction company from Mobile, Alabama, met with Natchez Adams School Board members on Wednesday. One of them, Marco Gonzales, said the original plans called for a high school to accommodate 1,200 students. That has been scaled back to 800.

“We have just been very efficient in how we have put this school together,” he said.

Gonzalez said the cafeteria had been reduced and some classrooms will be slightly smaller than originally planned.

“We had three labs in there at one time — physics, chemistry and biology. We consolidated the chemistry and physics into one,” he said. “The gymnasium and athletic area have been condensed while still allowing seating capacity the administration wanted to have in there.”

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