Suwannee County Hoping for New School

Classrooms are bursting at the seams as a result of the town’s population growth spurt. Suwannee County school district administrators say Suwannee Elementary School seems to be outgrowing itself.

Walter Boatright, Jr., Superintendent of Suwannee County Schools, says, "Our existing campuses are primarily consumed by buildings already. There's no space available on existing campuses for additions to the existing school buildings."

The lack of available space on campus for any additional portables led district board members to apply for funding to build a new school.

In a presentation to the Department of Education, board members pointed out other reasons for the need: a population problem with the current elementary school, overcrowding of core facilities, traffic congestion and efforts and desires of district officials to improve all facilities.

Walter adds, "Those needs aren't necessarily bad needs. They are needs we need to address, some of which we've needed to address for some time."

The superintendent of schools adds that a new school will help to reduce class size to the number set by Florida Statute.

Walter says, "Research indicates to us that smaller schools are also safer schools. That is certainly a priority within our school district to have the safest learning environment for our students as possible."

Superintendent Boatright says all necessary paperwork has been filed with state legislators, and now all the district can do is wait and see.

If and when funding is approved, construction should begin early this fall. The new elementary school would be located on Highway 1-29 South in Live Oak.