PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — It’s been a roller coaster ride for Tyndall Air Force Base.
With almost total destruction following Hurricane Michael, the military installations mission was on hold.
Now, with billions coming from the federal government for a rebuild, young students will see a benefit at Tyndall Elementary as well.
After much anticipation, the Bay District School Board has approved expanding Tyndall Elementary from kindergarten all the way up to 8th grade.
Beginning next school year, the three year process will begin for Tyndall Elementary. Superintendent of Bay District Schools, Bill Husfelt says everyone is excited about this next step for Tyndall.
“Our plan right now is to begin next year adding 6th grade, the year after that add 7th grade, the year after that add 8th so eventually Tyndall Elementary will become Tyndall Academy and be a K8 school. We believe this is going to be a great opportunity for our military families and that community,” said Husfelt.
With millions of dollars coming to Tyndall from the federal government to help rebuild after the storm, Tyndall Elementary’s population is expected to grow on a large scale. Principal O of Tyndall Elementary, Kimberly Kirkman, made the announcement at the school Tuesday morning.
“You could actually hear the kids cheering through the hallways, so they are very excited. We always have a lot of tears at the end of 5th grade, both students and parents, so were all super excited,” said Kirkman.
The district plans to continue to replace any hurricane damaged buildings as well as constructing a new building at the school to allow the extra students at the school.
“We know for a fact that more people are moving back to Tyndall Air Force Base, and more people are going to be employed there. We know that’s for sure happening. So we’re putting our focus there because we know that growth for sure is going to happen there over the next several years,” said Husfelt.
The district hopes to use this K8 model in other schools like Jinks Middle School in the near future.