Public hearing will be held to discuss Surfside Middle School renovation plan

By: News Email
By: News Email

Panama City Beach-- A big item on last Tuesday’s school board agenda was the renovation and relocation plan for Surfside Middle School students. That discussion was halted by the shooting.

But Monday, Superintendent Husfelt and Board Member, Steve Moss, explained a committee has come up with a recommendation. They also want to dispel rumors that a decision has already been made.

"There's so many rumors about it's already been decided and all that. It has not been decided. We want to do what parents want us to do so we have no problems," said Superintendent of Bay District Schools, Bill Husfelt.

Surfside Middle School is 20-years-old and in need of a total makeover. A committee made up of parents, principals, district staff and beach businesses has been meeting to discuss the renovation plans since July. They’ve gone through 18 different recommendations.

"I mean everything from split schedules to bringing in different portables to even believe it or not trying to rent out the old Publix and renovating that," said District 5 Board Member, Steve Moss.

The committee believes the best option is to renovate Surfside in sections, keeping the students on campus during construction.

"Do it piece by piece. In other words, bringing in portables and having it done there on the campus while the kids are there, of course our two big factors or priorities are A, safety of students and B, trying to disrupt the learning environment as little as possible," said Moss.

The down side is that instead of the project taking about four months, it will take closer to a year. But there are some positives.

"The good part is the parents at all the different schools, Beach Elementary, Patronis, Breakfast Point, Arnold, they are not affected by this renovation. It's just the Surfside students and parents and even though they're affected, its a lot more minimal then some other options," said Moss.

But the committee and Husfelt want to stress this is only a recommendation.

"We want the input from the parents because if there is an idea out there, or if parents don't understand what we're talking about, this is their chance to come and get involved in it," said Husfelt.

The committee will present their recommendation to the school board at a public meeting on January 11th at 6 p.m. It will be held at Arnold High School in the auditorium and they encourage the public to attend.

The committee is also recommending that Breakfast Point begin developing into a middle school with sixth graders next year. And over the next three years become a K-8 school.

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  • by Dave Location: Panama City Beach on Jan 10, 2011 at 06:50 PM
    I feel this is the most common sense recommendation made. It would be very disruptive to move students from their school and alter the schoolday just to facilitate completing the renovation a couple of months earlier. When my daughter was attending Surfside, a good porttion of my daughter and her classmates day was spent in portable classrooms. Though this was not always the ideal situation, the students were able to stay together as a class in their school. She is currently in a High School AP program and is looking forward to College in a couple of years. Thanks for a clear cut solution to the Surfside renovation plan. It is long overdue.
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