Navarre schools feel the squeeze

After three days back, half of Santa Rosa County’s schools were over projected numbers and growing, and the south end is leading the pack in growth.  Elementary, middle and high schools in Navarre all reported growth beyond projections.

At the Aug. 18 school board meeting, the school district administration discussed steps being taken to build a new school in the south end to relieve some of the congestion.

Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services Joey Harrell said that is a fast-approaching reality.

“By June 30 of this fiscal year, I hopefully will have a survey that has been approved by the Department of Education and the School Board,” he said. “That would allow us to begin the process of building a new school in the south end.”

Navarre High School is the largest of the district’s schools and according to Principal Brian Noack, is no stranger to the growth trend. Enrollment numbers provided by the school district have been on the rise since 2010, the earliest comparison year available. NHS was once again over its projected growth with 2,158 students for the 2016-2017 school year as of last count with more expected. That puts them within 162 students of their maximum capacity.

For comparison, NHS had 62 percent higher growth than Gulf Breeze High School in enrollment between 2010 and 2016. NHS also carries an average of 401 more students every year over GBHS. The data are based on enrollment as of October each year when schools typically reach equilibrium.

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