Dune Lakes Elementary School opens its doors

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - More than 700 students will attend a brand new school next month.

Dune Lakes Elementary School opened its doors to kids and their families for the first time for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on Wednesday. (WJHG/WECP)

Dune Lakes Elementary School off Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach opened its doors to kids and their families Wednesday. They got to check out the new classrooms, STEM labs, media center, gardens and more.

"She's so excited to have an art classroom because they didn't have that before," said one parent, Kristen Lowell.

Many teachers say the kids will benefit from the new school's resources.

"We now have the space to have that STEM center where we didn't last year and to have opportunities to take the class outside and do some hands-on things," said Allison Shehan, kindergarten teacher.

The Walton County School District moved students from Bay Elementary to this new campus to accommodate the area's growth.

"At Bay Elementary School our students were spread out in a lot of different portables and in buildings that were separated and that made me a little nervous with safety and security," said Meredith Spence, Dune Lakes Elementary School's principal.

Teachers say having a new building is important for the kids, and that it helps keep the student-teacher ratio down.

"It's important that we build a school that children can feel safe in, that students can feel free in learning and feel safe with their teachers with the absolute best instructional tools possible," said Superintendent A. Russell Hughes.

The school serves kids in kindergarten through fifth grade. The first day of school is August 12.

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