Five days short of the fourth anniversary of the arrival of Hurricane Michael, students in yellow vests and hard hats were joined by faculty, staff, parents, along with county and state officials for the long awaited ground breaking ceremonies for a new Blountstown Elementary School.
Calhoun County School Superintendent Darryl Taylor, Jr., welcomed everyone and thanked Rebecca Harrell with Allstate Construction for helping plan and put together the ceremony. Taylor also thanked speakers for the event: Representative Jason Shoaf, Governor DeSantis’s Regional Representave Alex Cronin, Pastor Delano Reed, and BES Principal Jonetta Dawson.
“This project has been a priority for this school district, our school board, and this community and will remain so until the first bell rings and this new facility is filled with students,” Taylor stated.
The Superintendent recognized people who have been instrumental in this project from conception, through funding, and design. “I’d like to thank our school board, Mr. Patrick Bell, Representative Jason Shoaf, Violet Brown and David Thayer, Jay Trumble, Willy Pitts, and Greg Kelley and Bill Rotherford. As we work through the construction phase, we look forward to working with Scott Brewer with Allstate Construction, Brooks Hayes and Lee Williams with B&L Construction, Representative Shane Abbott and his staff and Jay Trumble and his staff members,” Taylor concluded.
Taylor also recognized another group, the staff, students, and families of Blountstown Elementary School for staying the course to this point. “It is ironic that we have gathered here today just five days short of the four year anniversary of Hurricane Michael to officially break ground for the construction of a new Blountstown Elementary School and I promise we are going to see this project through,” Taylor noted.
With heavy equipment continuing to remove debris and start the demolition of the remaining building, students can look forward to moving into their new school in the fall of 2024. The $30 million plus project was funded over two legislative sessions. The 87,000 sq. ft structure will have 35 classrooms, multiple resource rooms, a library, a caftorium with stage space, and a central administration building with multiple rooms for related services including a nurse.