Walton School District Experiences Population Boom In South Walton

By: Drew Steele Email
By: Drew Steele Email

Every school year, roughly two hundred fifty new students enroll in Walton County Schools. Nearly 80 percent of those go to school in the southern part of the county.

"Well as we track the building permits and a rebound in the real estate market there's roughly a hundred occupiable homes coming online each month" said Walton County School District Facilities Director Mark Gardner.

And with new homes comes new families. Gardner says their elementary schools have seen the biggest boom.

"Our largest school population has been our butler elementary school on 30-A and it's roughly nine hundred twenty students" says Gardner.

Their middle schools like emerald coast middle have also seen growth.

"We opened this school in 2011 and in the first four months we were adding eight additional classrooms to the school in the first year of operation” said Gardner.

To keep up with the population boom, the school district is aggressively searching for new land in South Walton.

“We're looking at a large acreage land purchase in the south part of the county" said Gardner.

Until they can find the land to build new schools, Gardner says temporary classrooms will be set up where needed. The growing population in the South Walton area can also be attributed to the growing number of jobs in the area

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