U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland Visits North Bay Haven Project


U.S. Representative Steve Southerland toured the North Bay Haven Charter Academy construction site on May 2, 2014.


Officials at Bay Haven Charter Academy, Inc. welcomed the congressman and city officials to tour its developing site for North Bay Haven Charter Academy, which will begin serving sixth to 12th grade students in the upcoming school year.


The new 36-acre campus is situated at a prime location on State 390 on Mill Bayou, near Deer Point Lake.


“We were real happy day to have Congressman Southerland here today to tour the new school,” said David Haight, president of Bay Haven’s Board of Directors. “It’s been a long time coming and this is a milestone.”


Over 1,000 students will start school at the campus at its opening. Ground was broken at the site in June. The two-story classroom building will be ready for use by Aug. 20, the first day of school, school officials said.


“It’s exciting and I applaud the efforts here; it’s local people building for local people,” Southerland said. “Their future plan … is ambitious, yet a doable plan.”


In addition to the classroom building, which also houses the cafeteria, media center and a number of labs, design plans include a 26,000-foot gymnasium and sports field. In coming years, the elementary portion of North Bay Haven will be established at the campus.


The school’s location on a bayou may open additional teaching opportunities.  “One of the most amazing features is we’re on Mill Bayou,” Haight said. “This is one of the unique school sites in the state that allows us to have environmental sciences and direct contact with students and environmental features.”


Southerland, R-Panama City, endorsed the school’s plans, saying future jobs will be increasingly in the science field and grants are available to help Bay Haven fund their efforts.  “Those are the kind of things the future grant opportunities are going to be in, especially along the coast,” he said. “It’s a beautiful facility that’s going to house a lot of young people, educating them and getting them ready for the future.”


– The News Herald



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