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STARKVILLE, Miss.(WCBI)—Starkville, Oktibbeha  students are one step closer to having a brand new school.

Mississippi State University, Starkville Oktibbeha School District and statewide officials gathered Wednesday morning to witness breaking of the ground for the Partnership School.

The Starkville Oktibbeha School District Partnership School has spent years in the planning phase and now is on the fast tract to completion.

“This is a great partnership between Mississippi State University, our consolidated Starkville Oktibbeha County School District, the County, the City, and the state of Mississippi. This is a unique one-of-a-kind school we are about to build here. That will educate the students that are in their last year of elementary, first year of secondary and prepare them for their next step into higher education,”said University President Mark Keenum.

The 128 thousand square foot school will serve up to one thousand, sixth and seventh graders in Starkville each year. Incoming school Superintendent Dr. Eddie Peasant says it will be a unique learning environment.

“Even though they live relatively close to it, being on the campus will expose them to this opportunity and what campus life is like at an early age. Allowing them an opportunity to gain interest in going to college in some situations where that never would have seemed like an option to a lot of them,”said Peasant.

The Partnership School will sit on the Northern entrance of MSU campus. University President Dr. Mark Keenum says that alone is a huge advantage.

” They will have access to our faculty members who will be working with the faculty and teachers here in the school. Helping to develop cutting edge curriculum for these students to be on the forefront of the best teaching skills to better educate our young people to be successful as they matriculate in school,”said Keenum.

Devon Brenner works in the MSU Education Department. She says not only will the school district students benefit but so will MSU education majors.

” We will have seven classrooms for MSU that are built in the new building. We will be able to teach the education classes right down the hall from the six and seventh grade students. We can go down and observe things come back to class and talk about them. It will be a great chance to see theory and practice,”said  MSU Education Initiative Devon Brenner

The Partnership school is 128 thousand square feet and is scheduled to be complete January 2019.

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