PCB Faces School Overcrowding Problems

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BAY COUNTY - Construction is booming in the Breakfast Point subdivision as more houses are being built, but that's also creating an overcrowding problem at Breakfast Point Academy that's right next door.

"Everything is open because of the situation we've got at Breakfast Point," said Superintendent Bill Husfelt. "It's way over capacity so we have to decide what's the best way to fix it and the best way to be fair to the parents and students."

The school district says half of the county's schools with enrollment over 90% are on the beach.

Breakfast Point Academy's elementary grade levels are at 119%. At Thursday's school board workshop, board members and district officials spoke about a number of options to fix overcrowding.

That included building a new school in the future and possibly rezoning kids for now. Bay County has one of the lowest millage rates in the state and school board members say funding a new school could be tough.

"A new school is a tremendous endeavor in regards to finding the land and most importantly finding the funding and it doesn't happen overnight," said School Board Member, Steve Moss.

Instead Moss is proposing to expand Surfside Middle School to a K-8 school.

"From a tax efficiency stand point and being effective, they already have a gym, they have a cafeteria, they have a front office, so therefore you wouldn't necessarily have to build new facilities for those," said Moss. "You would have to build on an elementary school."

At this point, all options are on the table. Board members are hoping to have a preliminary plan by the end of the year.