I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Welcome to Portable-Ville!

I toured Beulah Elementary School late this afternoon on my way home, and I must admit I was amazed at the burgeoning portable farm out back and to the East of this school.  Beulah Elementary has been a popular neighborhood school for decades, all three of my children attended school here, yet over the last 6 years this school has seen exponential growth.

Today, the gates were open so I went in and looked around.  Wow--18 portables and a brand new 8 classroom modular!  The school's EOY attendance figures show the school nearing 1000 students, even though it was initially designed for 650 or so.  Now, the portables, modulars, and permanent 8 classroom addition completed in 2009 are beginning to swallow the entire back-yard area of the school.

But the true growth is just now starting to ramp-up.

Right down the road, literally 1 and 1/2 miles west, at the Helms road/Beulah road intersection, is a brand new subdivision under construction.  According to the realtor I spoke with there today, the demand for lots has been brisk and there are 103 home sites in this particular development Woodlyn Meadows.  "We've got another one right down the road, about a half-mile from here south on Beulah road" said the salesman.  That new subdivision, Weaver's Run, will have more than one hundred new home sites.  This in addition to the exploding Nature Trail on 9 mile road, Twin Spires, Woodglen on Mobile Highway, another expansive high-density development on Tower-ridge road, and a brand new, gigantic apartment complex being built right at the I-10 and exit 5.  All of these developments, and more, are being built right now in the Beulah attendance zone;  To address this, the plan is to move 300 students, out of 1000, and bus them north to Cantonment, and then to build a new Middle school in Beulah.

This plan will do nothing to fix Beulah.  These new developments, within 12-24 months, will fill Beulah back up to over 1000 students and then we will be right back where we are today.

We need a new Elementary School in Beulah to alleviate the massive demand for Elementary School slots in this rapidly growing community--that is what is needed.

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