65.0 °

Long Beach High students applaud finish of paved parking lot


Long Beach High students love their newly paved parking lot on their Gulf Coast campus.

In early summer, the parking lot’s new look will be a welcome sight for Long Beach students when the 2020-21 school year opens August 6.

“Constant flooding and the faded designated parking spots in the parking lots at LBHS has been an issue for many years,” says incoming senior Sarah Simpson. “Some days, it felt as if I should have kayaked to school instead of driven due to the high water line.”

The school yearbook editor and a Lady Bearcats volleyball player, Simpson sees the parking lot as symbolic of a wonderful partnership.

“I am extremely grateful and appreciative for all the things the City of Long Beach does for its residents and the Long Beach School District,” Simpson added.

It’s really part of a two-part improvement of facilities on the campus at 300 East Old Pass Road. A new multi-million dollar Long Beach High is under construction, as well.

Simpson thanks city voters for approving the construction of the new school that nears the finish line.

“It will provide an improved learning environment for future generations,” says Simpson, 17, a member of the Class of 2021.

Classmate Sami Gundlach says she is equally excited about the high school paving project in her hometown. The new parking lot enhances a new high school to replace one built in the late 1950s.

“I have seen how invested both the city and school district are working together to make these changes happen,” Gundlach says.

She’s active on her campus and in the city, serving on the Long Beach Mayor’s City Youth Council. In addition to membership in the Beta Club, the Lady Bearcats swim team and golf squad, Gundlach excels as an honors student.

”We are grateful that these changes and upgrades will benefit both present and future students in the City of Long Beach,” Gundlach said.

The repaving of the Long Beach High parking lot added to a series of newly paved roads in the Harrison County community earlier this year. The total price tag of the projects was $1 million, with funds coming from the state.

Whether it is Long Beach Superintendent Dr. Jay Smith, Mayor George L. Bass, or just folks shopping at businesses along Jeff Davis Avenue, people applaud the paving projects.

Student Body President Lauren Bennett and parents like Dom Fimiano are delighted to see the parking lot done in time for classes reopening in August.

“I think all LBHS students can agree we hated for it to rain,” Bennett said. “We would have to park in huge puddles and trudge through water at our ankles, and it was just a bad way to start the day.”

A Lady Bearcats soccer player, Bennett is thankful city leaders endorsed the project with the support of the school board.

The parking lot extends to the Bearcats football stadium and the school’s baseball field. The LBSD is responsible for painting parking lot lines.

The new parking lot will alleviate longstanding drainage issues, Dom Fimiano says.

The Long Beach High improvements combine with new safety procedures for students and employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Both are a big plus, he said.

Fimiano, whose daughter Sophia, 17, is a Lady Bearcats soccer standout, commends school district leaders. “I have been pleased with LBSD officials managing the safety of the students, staff and community.’’