Architect: Allred Architectural Group (Ocean Springs, Mississippi)

Project Location: Ocean Springs, Mississippi

High school students in Ocean Springs, Mississippi started the 2012-13 school year in a new, state-of-the-art facility. The two-story high school accommodates 2,200 students, encompasses 320,000 square feet, and includes an impressive, 964 feet long by 169 feet deep courtyard where students can mingle. Acting as General Contractor, White-Spunner Construction, Inc. completed the new high school in just two years' time.

The facility boasts numerous features, including:

  • 200 classrooms,
  • a vocational-technical department,
  • a 750-seat performance auditorium,
  • library,
  • media center, and
  • two gymnasiums: a 1,500-seat performance center and a P.E./practice gym.

To minimize maintenance, no skylights or clerestory windows were used in the design of the building. The structure and its roof are rated for a 140-mph wind zone for hurricanes. The school's windows, brick, cornices and columns are impact-resistant.

The building project was not without its challenges. The high school's location on the site of an old pecan orchard with poor soils necessitated the use of site preparation methods which involved more time. Methods included pre-loading the building pad with soil to consolidate the subsoil, then utilizing drainage wicks to remove moisture from the sandy mix of silt and clay soil.