Oscar Patterson Academy reopens after nearly 4 years

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Oscar Patterson Academy in Panama City is opening its doors back up again after being closed shut nearly four years following Hurricane Michael.

The elementary school got much more than just a new name and logo. It’s been undergoing serious construction this past year, getting ready to rocket launch into the fall semester.

It’s the final countdown. Faculty and staff at Oscar Patterson Academy are preparing for the first day of classes.

“3,2,1 rockets blast off,” Principal Charlotte Blue said. “The students will be anticipating their rooms and be excited to see all the different things that they didn’t have before, they have now.”

Taking a look around the school, almost everything is brand new and better than before.

“The whole cafeteria has been redone. The floors have new tile on them, the walls have murals and the stage was redone. All of the furniture is brand new. And the media center we have all new books,” Blue said. “We now have ViewSonics, they are the touch screen, smart boards. All new furniture in every one of the classrooms. Everything as far as that is new, textbooks, everything is brand spanking new.”

The school has been a missing piece for the Glenwood Community since Hurricane Michael forced it to close in 2018.

“Over the last four years since we haven’t had it opened it’s been kind of a struggle for some of the parents to get their kids to different schools out of zone and now they’re going to be able to come back into zone,” community activist Tony Bostick said.

But now, the Academy is welcoming in more than 230 kids in grades K-2.

“Every year we’ll add on another grade level. so this year we’re K-2. Then next year we’ll be K-3 and we’ll keep going until we have 5th grade,” Blue said.

While it’s an almost entirely new staff coming in, Principal Blue is one of the few coming back to lead the school.

“We are just going to keep trying to work towards everything that we have set up. All year, no fear,” Blue said.

Students will splash down for their first day of classes on August 10th.

Oscar Patterson Academy is hosting a back-to-school blast-off event Saturday, August 6th, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be held at 1025 Redwood Avenue, Panama City. There will be food, music, supplies, activities, and a backpack giveaway.

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