Academy of Innovation welcoming Vicksburg-Warren County students to new building

Published 11:41 am Monday, July 26, 2021

Construction has been underway for two years for Vicksburg Warren School District’s new Academy of Innovation. 

The facility is now completed, and the doors will be open for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, with teachers and staff returning on Aug. 2 and students on Aug. 6. 

“This is such an exciting time for AOI teachers, students and staff,” Academy of Innovation principal Dr. Jason McKellar said. “Being able to teach and learn in a building they helped to imagine and design is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are so grateful to the community for supporting students with this modern learning space.”  

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The new building, which is located on the corner of Mission 66 and Rosa A. Temple Drive cost $16,454,000 and was made possible by the passage of an $83 million facilities bond passed in March 2018. 

AOI began in 2014 in the former Grove Street School built in 1949 and served approximately 80 7th and 8th-grade students. Since then, it has grown to serve nearly 400 students today, VWSD director of communications Christy Kilroy said.

In 2018, AOI was named the first Leader in Me Lighthouse Middle School in the state and applied for recertification in 2020.

As a STEM-based program of study, the new building has been designed to support a combination of individualized and cooperative learning experiences and accommodate various learning styles.

 A student-led ribbon-cutting event is being planned for the new AOI school building in early September and the community will be invited to attend.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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