PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Florida State University Panama City has received approval of a $7.6 million grant to provide partial funding for its Collegiate Laboratory High School. 

The award comes from Triumph Gulf Coast Inc., a nonprofit corporation that oversees the expenditure of money recovered from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

The start-up grant will be funded over a six-year period. The Collegiate Laboratory High School, expected to open as early as fall 2023, will be the eighth lab school in the state and the first of its kind in Bay County. 

“We are grateful for our partnership with Triumph Gulf Coast and the investment in our area students,” said Randy Hanna, dean of FSU Panama City. “The Collegiate Laboratory High School will provide students from Bay and Gulf counties the opportunity to engage in experiential learning with experts in a chosen field.” 

Collegiate Laboratory High School is expected to serve grades 9-12, with an estimated enrollment of 125 students per grade and admission preference given to dependent children of active-duty military personnel. 

“Students who attend the school will have unique opportunities to earn industry certifications, complete dual enrollment coursework aligned with their intended majors, and conduct age-appropriate research under the mentorship of FSU faculty,” officials wrote in a news release. “Students in grades 9 and 10 will complete a traditional high school curriculum including career courses leading to industry certifications in high-wage, high-demand fields such as engineering, computer science, information technology and health sciences.”

And eligible students in grades 11 and 12 will have the opportunity to earn college credits through dual enrollment, thus accelerating their degree attainment and saving their families thousands of dollars.