Charter School Location Change Raises Concerns

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Lynn Haven- North Bay Haven Charter Academy officials hope to build a new school building on property off Highway 390, moving there in two years. Bay County School Board members approved the venture Tuesday, but with some reservations.

Superintendent Bill Husfelt told the board that along with the move, North Bay Haven officials requested to be moved up on the half cent sales tax project list for a new gymnasium. That would put it ahead of more than 80 other construction projects. Board Member Steve Moss questioned the proposal.

"Arguably an air conditioner or a cafeteria, maybe not even arguably, is more important than a gymnasium," said Moss.

But Husfelt seemed to support the idea.

"If I have eight to nine hundred kids, that's an emergency to my child that he or she has a gym," said Husfelt.

Board Member Ginger Littleton also expressed concern about adding another school to what she called an already saturated northern Bay County.

"So the taxpayers will now have five elementary schools in a geographical location?" asked Littleton.

"Well really if you take out Waller and say Southport, yes," answered Husfelt.

Board Member Jerry Register suggested North Bay Haven explore a lease with nearby Deer Point Elementary, but Moss said that would set a bad precendent.

"My concern would be in regards to a slippery slope," said Moss, "Everytime a charter school opens up a new school next to one of our schools, do we automatically look at the opportunity of leasing that school?"

The board didn't take any action Tuesday on the half cent sales tax project list or the idea of the Deer Point lease idea.

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