Panama City Marine Institute applies to become charter school with Bay District Schools

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) —  AMIkids Panama City Marine Institute (PCMI) could become the area’s next charter school.

The school’s executive director, Ron Boyce, said on Tuesday that he recently filed the charter application with Bay District Schools and is hopeful for approval.

“We want this high-tech offering in this unique aquatic environment to be available to any kid in a public school setting,” Boyce said.

They’re hoping to serve more than 13 hundred students over the next ten years, offering a unique maritime education and the ability to be industry certified in specialized fields.

If all goes according to plan, the school will be open for 9th through 12th graders in August, 2021.

“If you’re anywhere interested in any kind of maritime career, this is a great school to go to,” Boyce said. 

They’ve also applied for funding through Triumph Gulf Coast to start new industry programs, training students in iC panel construction, as well as aerial and underwater drone operation.

The Bay County Commission approved drafting a letter of support for the new programs which will be given to Triumph. Commissioners said they think the programs will be a good addition to the school, helping students to get jobs in the community.

“Let’s get our kids up to that level where they can have those jobs and those jobs are going to start really exploding,” Boyce said.

He added that with the new missions at Tyndall Air Force Base and the Navy Base as well as housing needs in the area, specialties like what they’d teach at PCMI could help keep students working in the area.

On top of that, they’re working on renovations to the school’s building to be the best it’s been since it was built.

“Our next big phase will be the back porch,” he said. “That’s going to be architecturally a stunning addition to the building which will transform this warehouse box into a school of the next century.”

He said they’ll know about the Triumph funding on Thursday, and they should know about the charter application by November.

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