BDS fights for millions of dollars in repairs made to local middle school post-Hurricane Michael

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay District Schools is fighting FEMA for millions of dollars, all for repairs made to Merritt Brown Middle School after Hurricane Michael. The Panama City school was one of many in the district to be destroyed in the storm.

It may not look like it now, but four years ago, multiple roofs were missing. It caused water damage and cost about $4.8 million to fix.

District lawyers sent an appeal to FEMA last year and got denied, but that doesn’t mean they’re giving up.

“It’s too great of a dollar amount. we’ve got invoices that we believe back up those expenses. Merritt Brown was obviously one of the more impacted schools by Hurricane Michael and like I said, it’s just a significant amount of money that we don’t feel like we should walk away from. We’re going to exhaust every opportunity in receiving those funds for the district,” Lee Walters, Executive Director of Facilities for Bay District Schools, said.

Officials said the next step is going to arbitration, which means the appeal will go to a panel of three judges to review and decide.

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