Alternative Beach School Idea Nixed

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BAY COUNTY - Bay District School officials have apparently scrapped plans for an alternative school at the beach and have not made plans for the shuttered West Bay Elementary School.

The school board closed West Bay Elementary 5 years ago in 2009, as part of a redistricting and consolidation plan. The future of the campus remains uncertain.

Bay District School board members considered West Bay Elementary as a possible home for a new alternative school at the beach, but that never panned out.

"I don't think it would be really fair to put an alternative school in that area with what we told the folks when we closed it. We only closed it because the population was so small," said Bay District Schools Superintendent, Bill Husfelt.

District officials also considered Arnold High School as a possible site for the at risk students.

"Adament that I don't think Arnold is the right place to put an alternative school. I have no doubt that we need a school like that in regards to drop out prevention. I'm just not sold on Arnold being the place it needs to be," said Steve Moss, a school board member.

So hours before last week's school board meeting, Husfelt scrapped the entire alternative school idea. This isn't the first time district officials have considered reopening West Bay.

Board members thought of it as a solution to the 123% overcrowding problem at Breakfast Point Academy. Despite the continued rejection, Husfelt believes West Bay will eventually reopen.

"I firmly believe that Highway 79 and the West Bay area is going to grow. I just don't know when that's going to happen," said Husfelt.

Board members excluded Breakfast Point Academy from school choice this year, due to overcrowding.