NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — For the first time since 2008, the Okaloosa County Schools District is building a new school. Superintendent Marcus Chambers said a new K-8 school will be coming to Crestview.
“We’re in the process right now, acquiring land in Crestview and in the central part of the county. As well and at Destin Elementary, we already have land,” said Chambers. “We are looking at a K-8 school or elementary school in the central part of the county, in the Niceville area. And then looking at a four or five center at Destin Elementary.”
The new school will take time, but more than 10 other improvements will be started during the 2022-23 school year.
“Over the course of this year and in the next couple of years, we’re going to have four schools that are going to have classroom additions, and that’s anywhere from four to eight classrooms,” said Chambers.
Six Okaloosa County schools with get new ‘cafetoriums’ which are a cafeteria and an auditorium in one. Chambers said these projects are due to an increase in student size.
“A lot of these schools that were built 45 years ago or 50 years ago, they were built for a certain enrollment,” said Chambers. “Now the schools are far exceeded that, so they’ve exceeded their classrooms. They’ve exceeded the size of the cafeterias.”
OCSD also plans to add a multi-purpose building to all high-school campuses.
“PE classes will have the ability to go in there during the school day, or classrooms will be able to go in there and do certain projects after school,” said Chambers. “Athletics will be able to go in there and have practices. Cheer, dance, basketball and so forth so those facilities are being updated as well.”
Chambers described the projects and three-year building plan as historic.
“In terms of new facilities, upgrading facilities, looking at new school construction, we haven’t been able to do this in over a decade, so there’s going to be a lot that’s going to be happening,” said Chambers. “The thing that I’d like to say to parents, especially where some of these buildings are occurring is just to have patience with us. When you’re building these new facilities car ride lines might have to be different, the way that you drop your child off or pick them up is going to be different, so there are going to be some things that will be slowed down over the course of the year but once we’re done with it and we have these new facilities or upgraded facilities I think it’s going to be a blessing to not only the school but the community as well.”