Officials from the Petal School District have begun the next step in the process of building a new elementary school to help accommodate the district’s growing enrollment of more than 4,100 students.
Administration is currently working through wetland mitigation and land matters for the new school, which will be located on a plot of district-owned land adjacent to Petal Primary School on Herrington Road.
“There are different things that we have to go through the proper steps and protocol, going through with the land,” district superintendent Matt Dillon said. “We’re trying to determine what the building is going to look like – the style of the building.
“We set up some time with teachers at the elementary school to get an idea of needs and wants and things like that, so that’s kind of where we’re at with that process.”
The school district recently worked with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic study on Herrington Road, in which MDOT officials looked at certain points in the area, including Stadium Drive, Mississippi 42 and the first-grade and second-grade drop-off points.
Engineers also looked at items such as accident reports and traffic counts during peak traffic hours before compiling the data to create a report on the area.
After the study, it was determined that Herrington Road will need to be widened into a four-lane with additional traffic lanes.
“That’s going to be important, because you’ve already got one school there, and we’re going to put another one, so we’re looking to expand Herrington Road … in order to be able to accommodate the traffic on that road,” Dillon said. “So that’s what we need to do to make it work, and we feel confident with that. That will help not only the new school, but it will help Petal Primary School as well.”