Freeport is growing in population and so will its schools

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FREEPORT Fla. (WMBB) — Freeport has seen major growth over the past few years and the Walton County School District is trying to keep up with the number of students.

“The growth is really happening, and it is happening in our schools,” said Walton Schools Superintendent A. Russell Hughes.

Freeport Elementary is overcapacity, but that might not be a problem for much longer.

On Thursday, Superintendent Hughes, along with school board members, held two groundbreaking ceremonies. One at Freeport Elementary School for a new addition. And the other for a new transportation complex, next to Freeport High School.

“Our kids are going to have more space in the classrooms,” said Freeport Elementary Principal Kristen Lewis. “Because we are just cramming kids into the smallest spaces into our school that we can get them in right now, just to allow them to get their education.”

School officials said this addition would allow for the latest technology. Hughes said Walton County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state.

“Fifth in the country, and first in the state. So really to have the growth and the facility extended in the expansion that we are about to endeavor into is really going to be able to accommodate the learning, the real physical needs that we have at the schools,” he said.

School leaders said with the new addition they can accept 1,000 students at the elementary school. 

Hughes said the new transportation complex would create a closer center for bus operators in the county’s southern parts.

“Freeport elementary school, that is where students end but this [the transportation complex] is where they begin their ride,” said Hughes.

He said the school board members are hoping to build a middle school next in the Freeport area. They will be working on that project starting soon, but there is no set date on when that might be.

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