Willie Burton, the district's director of buildings and grounds, says it will be between five and six million dollars for cleanup and rebuilding. There was damage to the roof of the academic buildings, the gym, the baseball stadium and the football field at Hattiesburg High School. Repairs were started on the high school's roof under an emergency resolution approved by the school board in February.
"The main high school campus it was kind of like a sleeping giant." Burton says there was a lot more tornado damage done to the Hattiesburg High School's academic buildings than what they initially thought.
"Once we did more thorough inspection we have about 14 different roof structures over there four of those will be totally replaced." For Hattiesburg High's football complex, rubber around the field needs to be replaced because of contamination... the end zone also had damage but the field doesn't need to be replaced. "The baseball field, we're waiting for the scope of work on it."
The field's score board and wall around the stadium need replacing as far as glass on the field. "We haven't seen but we'll be making a thorough check as we get into this process."
Another building that will need renovation is the gym. "We'll have to replace the actual floor, gym floor, all the goals, scoreboards, ceiling, lighting, electrical, all of that will have to be totally redone." Burton says replacing the gym floor will cost about 80 thousand dollars.
The district also has about 35 buses on loan from other school districts in the Pine Belt.
Twenty-five of the district's 27 school buses were damaged. "We've returned probably 10 buses so we do have 10 of ours back on line some are still in the body shop." Glass, roof hatches, lights, grills and mirrors had to be replaced on most of the buses. The district's transportation center, transportation office, driver training center and bus barn were all damaged by the tornado. "We're still in limbo; we really haven't made a decision yet so we'll be talking about that in the near future."