Some schools nearing completion… others have years to go


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Hurricane Michael left many schools in the district completely destroyed. After months of work to repair these buildings, some schools are almost back to normal.

The facilities department has reached an important milestone over Christmas break as interior repairs have begun for some schools in the district.

Interior repairs have begun at Tommy Smith Elementary, Lynn Haven Elementary, and Hiland Park Elementary.

Schools like Bay High are almost at 100 percent completion, but for others in the district, that is not the case.

As for Merritt Brown students, they will reoccupy their gymnasium next week.

District Director of Facilities, Lee Walters says there is a long and difficult process when it comes to repairing these schools.

“Were trying to work in groups of five, and as soon as a group of five roofs has been evaluated and approved by FEMA, were putting those out for bid. We currently have the third group of fifth out for bid right now,” said Walters.

Bay High is at almost 90% completion and the foundation work for the Jinks Gymnasium has begun as well.

“We’ve got about 17 full campus roofing projects going on right now. So from a roofing aspect were past the 50 percent mark, but from an interior repair standpoint, were nowhere near 50% unfortunately,” said Walters.

They believe it is important to get teachers into these buildings as soon as possible.

“We realize that a lot of them have been working out of boxes, they haven’t been able to really get situated. Anything we can do to start reoccupying these campuses,” said Walters.

The district hopes to have all roof repairs completed by the next school year.

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