Office of Economic Development | 101 Industrial Road Choctaw, MS 39350 | 601.656.5251 |

Tribe Breaks Ground on Safe Room Project at Pearl River Elementary School


Tribal Contact:
Misty Brescia Dreifuss
(601) 650-1613


The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Pearl River Elementary School (PRES) Safe Room Project on Tuesday, February 14, at 1 p.m. in Choctaw, Miss. The ceremony featured remarks by Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson and PRES Principal Suzanne Hyatt.

This is Phase II of the $1.6 Million project with the completion expected to be during the fall term of the 2017-2018 school year. The one-story, re-enforced concrete building will have the capacity to accommodate up to 900 people. Built to meet FEMA P-361 Safe Room standards, the room will be able to withstand 250-mile-per-hour winds.

“I am very thankful to FEMA and MEMA for their partnership and support in helping us to provide this safe room to our students, faculty and staff at Pearl River Elementary,” said Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson. “We want to do everything we can to protect our Tribal members and others who are in our care, and the building of this safe room is a step in the right direction.”

"This Safe Room is a result of a lot of work and collaboration,” said PRES Principal Suzanne Hyatt. “The Safe Room will provide a safe shelter for all of our students and staff and we are very grateful for that."

Built in 1990, Pearl River Elementary School currently houses 618 students. The safe room will be built on the North side of the campus and is available for the school population and nearby community. To learn more, contact the MBCI Office of Public Information at 601-663-7532.


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