WEB EXTRA: Tour of Bay High School Under Construction

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Bay High School is one of the oldest continually accredited schools in the state of Florida, it’s also another Bay District School that suffered heavy damage from Hurricane Michael. 

From some minor damages to major damages, the Bay High school campus has seen both—leading them to send their students to Jinks Middle school while repairs are being completed. 

Building 1, the structure that houses the office and other rooms, suffered minor water damage. Building 1 is the first building they’re getting back up to par in hopes that students will be able to use it when they return to the campus. 

The older wings of the school, the 200-500 buildings did better than the rest. However, those wings are actually set to be demolished eventually to make room for a new fine arts auditorium. While the older buildings seemed to have survived, others did not. The media center, building 12, and the classrooms above the cafeteria took the hardest hit. The old gymnasium was hit so badly that it has actually been condemned and is set to be demolished. 

Bay high school principal, Billy May, said over 40 portables will be placed on the campus. He said some classrooms will be operational but is discouraging bringing students back into those rooms until it’s completely repaired. Mays said they don’t plan to use the cafeteria immediately and will most likely send the lunches directly to the students classrooms. In the cafeteria, the ceiling tiles are gone, and moisture seems to be the biggest issue. 

One of Bay high school’s most prized programs, the culinary arts program, took a hit from the storm. The room housing the equipment was damaged and the power outage caused the refrigerators to go bad. 

These hands on programs will not be carried over to the portables. Mays said students will be doing the book work for their certifications through the end of the year. “Thankfully for us, the money donated by Good Morning America will help us rebuild the culinary program and get things back on track,” said May. 

Computer labs on campus also took a hit. The lab located directly above the media center had about 40 computers and lost about half. They had 6 computer labs total and all suffered from some damage but the one above the media center was the worst. The TV production classroom lost its roof and the wind and water damaged all the equipment in side, making the room the total loss. 

In other classrooms, furniture and books had to be thrown out due to mold. 

The band room that houses the equipment and everything that makes the “Million Dollar Band” spectacular, was also damaged. There was an open roof post-storm that allowed water to enter into the room, damaging numerous instruments. Instruments that were inside the school’s equipment trailer were damaged when it rolled. A few tubas that were inside cases were able to survive the storm. Inside the band room was one of the largest collections of sheet music in the state of Florida, that made it through the storm unharmed. 

May said he thinks one of the biggest costs from the Hurricane will be replacing all the band equipment. “I think it’s going to come close to or hit that million dollar mark,” said May.

The portables that will be used as temporary classrooms will be placed in an empty lot across the street from the gymnasium. The athletic fields also suffered heavy damage to the dug outs and club house. 

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