Bay District Schools Phasing Out Costly Portables

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Panama City- Pricey portables are once again near the top of the Bay County School District's priority list this year.

"We have to come up with a plan to solve that," said Bay County School District Superintendent Bull Husfelt.

There are close to 240 of them still in use costing the district thousands of dollars in maintenance and lease agreements.

"We're putting $300 thousand more in this year. We have to take care of our kids the best we can and the portable situation is just not best for them," said Bay County School Board Member Jerry Register.

Register has perhaps been the most outspoken on the issue.

"In bad weather, suddenly we move the children and teaching and learning ceases. We've had problems in the past with mold. We've had problems with leaking," said Register.

District officials said unfortunately getting rid of portables isn't an easy endeavour. Class size restrictions, school choice, and a population boom in Panama City Beach are just three factors working against the district.

"If we overnight had them all hauled off we wouldn't have permanent classroom space ready to put them in," said Bay District Schools Facilities Director John Bozarth.

Despite not having many concrete solutions, as school officials continue to better master the balancing act, they said they anticipate the need for the mobile classrooms will continue to go down. Register said he hopes the district will have completely phased out portables within the next five years.

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