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Mississippi students to learn virtually during construction

August 1, 2021 GMT

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — Hundreds of Mississippi middle school students in Harrison County will be learning from home at the start of the school year while work is being completed on their new building.

New Superintendent Mitchell King told the Sun Herald that construction has been delayed on the new middle school building and it won’t be complete in time for the first day of school on Aug. 5. That means 650 students will have to learn virtually.

The contractor building the school, Wharton-Smith, was initially slated to complete construction by July 15, King told the Herald. King said the delays were caused by a “comedy of errors,” including weather events like Hurricane Zeta, rain throughout the summer and the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on staffing at the construction site.

“They’re working as hard and as fast as they can to get it completed,” he said. “Of course we have to have it inspected by the building code offices to make sure that everything is safe for employees and students, and that’s what we’re doing ... We’re pushing as hard as we can. Due to those construction delays, we’ll just have to wait. We’re kind of at their mercy.”