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Florida Panhandle school officials plan to rebuild after Hurricane Michael's destruction

Bay County School officials say 20 of their 35 schools sustained damage


A book tossed in a hallway with the title "Being Destructive" tells the story of what happened at Springfield Elementary school, which just more than a week ago was filled with students, but now filled with debris.

"You realize the whole side of that classroom is blown out," said Steve Moss, Bay County School Board's vice chairman.  "It breaks your heart because for a lot of our students again, this was their safe place."

As he walked through a destroyed music room with plastic recorders and lesson plans scattered about, Moss said about 20 of Bay County's 35 schools were damaged after Hurricane Michael. 

Moss said they are taking things "day-by-day, trying to assure our students that 'you will be back in school, you will see those same teachers and classmates that you are used to having on a daily basis.'"

And in order to make that happen, they have to get students back in classrooms soon in order to complete the school year. To make that happen Bay County schools have reached out to school districts in Houston after Hurricane Harvey and even Miami after Hurricane Andrew for advice. Moss explained how they advised using one school campus for two student bodies.

"One school might go from 7 to 2 o'clock, adjourn and then another whole different student body from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m," he said. "So two different high schools will go to school on the same campus at different times."

Until then however, the school district is determined to bring the community back together, especially since cellphone communication has been little to none.

Moss said on Saturday, the district will continue with it's weekly football game of Mosley High School and Pensacola High School. Wednesday, crews were cleaning up debris on the field and planning on to straighten out the goal post. 

"They'll be able to sit in those stands and see folks they haven't seen since the storm," Moss said, adding "It will just take time but we will get back."


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