Construction manager selections announced for Bay District Schools projects

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Two high profile projects in Bay District Schools are one step closer to becoming reality.

The Bay District School Board voted to go with two construction managers for the district's upcoming projects: a new elementary school in Panama City Beach and Bay High School's new STEM building.

We're told ReliantSouth Construction Group will oversee construction of the new beach school and GAC Contractors will be in charge of the STEM building.

The elementary school is planned to be built off of U.S. Highway 98 near the new sports complex, which recently received the go-ahead.

Superintendent Bill Husfelt said a new beach school is very much needed on the beach side of the Hathaway Bridge.

"We have got to do something very soon out there and if you look on the Back Beach Road and look at all of the townhouses and apartments being built, it's just enormous and I know that students are going to be living in those apartments and townhouses," he said.

The hope is for the beach school to be completed in 2020. The estimated price tag is $35 million.

You may recognize the name GAC Contractors from Bay High's Tommy Oliver Stadium Project.

For the STEM building, the district hopes to receive TRIUMPH funding to offer courses such as welding and pipe fitting. If not, Husfelt explained the building would be a one-story math and science building.

Lee Walters, the Director of Facilities for Bay District Schools, said the beach school will be a bond initiative. It will not be a local property tax.

The STEM building at Bay High is a half-cent sales tax project, with the hope of TRIUMPH funding to increase the size of the project.