Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Creekbend School

Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Creekbend School

(HARRISON COUNTY, MS) Twin hurricanes brewing in the Gulf of Mexico couldn’t dampen plans for an exciting ceremony in the Harrison County School District. On August 26, 2020, about 50 HCSD leaders, directors, and special guests gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Creekbend Elementary & Middle School. 

“I’m very proud to be here today for this event that we have all worked so hard over the last two-and-a-half years for it to come to fruition as we continue this journey in building this new school,” said Harrison County School District Superintendent, Roy Gill.

Creekbend Shovels

Gill started off by thanking the five members of the Harrison County School Board, saying “Without the support of the board, the day in and day out things that go on in Harrison County could not be possible.”

The superintendent also recognized all the supporters who helped pass a $55 million bond issue in October of 2018.

“We all have to work together to make sure this district continues to flourish. Each one of you played a significant part in making this day happen. From those who worked on the campaign trail, to those that got out and spread the word of the need for an expansion in Harrison County, beat the pavements to make sure that the general public understood the need, it’s imperative that we again, thank you for all that you’ve done,” said Gill.

Harrison County is the fourth largest school district in the state of Mississippi. Last year’s enrollment was just shy of 15,000 students.

“When you look at a district this size, it takes each and every one of us to run and do what is necessary for the boys and girls of the Harrison County School District,” said Gill. “When I took this office, I had two major goals. One of them was to lead this district to the top and this past year, our school district became an A district for the first time in history, and everyone is to be commended. The other goal was to leave this district better than when I took office as far as buildings and grounds and space available for future growth. As we come together today to break ground on this facility, it will add another piece to the puzzle of the overall goal of Harrison County Schools and I’m very proud to be a small part of it. It cannot happen without each and every one of you that are here today, so on behalf of the school board and everyone that showed up here today to celebrate in this occasion, I thank you.”
Creekbend PropertyCreekbend Property

Creekbend Elementary & Middle School is going up on 16121 Highway 15, just north of the D’Iberville Sports Complex. Marty Hardy is the lead architect on the project.

Creekbend Rendering

“We’ve enjoyed working with the school board and school district. We are very thankful. We feel the school district is dedicated to the community, and help improve every aspect of the community and the students that it serves. I want to thank Mr. Gill and Mr. King (HCSD Assistant Superintendent) specifically for being the leaders of the school district and help bring this project to fruition. I also want to thank Mr. Larry Benefield (HCSD Maintenance Director) and Mrs. Jodi Trosclair (HCSD Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent).”

Creekbend will cost about $27.8 million. The K-8 school will be about 136,000 square feet. It will feature 65 classrooms that will be built from day one. The building will be able to house 1,800 plus students, with room for growth.

“I‘m proud of all the projects that we do for Harrison County School District, but I’m very proud of this one. I grew up about four miles down the road, and played in these woods and on the river and everything here. It’s going to be a great addition to the community and I hope you all appreciate it and enjoy it,” said Hardy.

Gill shared the story of how Hardy helped come up with the name for the new school.

“When we were searching for a name for this site, we bounced different things around and Marty threw out the name Creekbend Elementary & Middle School. It had a great ring and I said, ‘Where did that come from’, and he said ‘When we were growing up here and we were deciding where we were going swimming and what we were going to do and he said just go up there at the creek bend’. It stuck. That’s what is valuable when you talk about community schools and things that make a school what it is, is the value of the people that live around it,” Gill said.

Creekbend Aerial

Gill stressed the importance of making sure the 40-acre campus can accommodate future growth.

“For many years after we’re all gone, this site has been prepped to be able to handle a huge school if necessary. We had to make sure we planned for future growth and the story is, you build it and they will come. That will happen here for the city of D’Iberville and this school,” Gill said.

“They have already approved a number of lots, and this school will be growing continuously. As we get closer to opening date, we will set the boundaries of where the school attendance zone will be. As time changes and things grow, we have to make sure we set the boundaries where it will relieve all the overcrowding of the schools in this area.”

Creekbend is scheduled to open in August of 2022.

Creekbend GuestsCreekbend GuestsCreekbend GuestsCreekbend GuestsCreekbend GuestsCreekbend Groundbreaking

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The 2018 Bond Issue also funded these following projects:

  • Construction of the new West Harrison Middle School
  • Expansion and renovations of North Gulfport Middle School
  • Security entrance upgrades across the school district