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Pensacola State To Open Charter School

Pensacola State College

Pensacola State College has announced it will establish a new charter school on its Warrington campus with an eye towards helping children of military families.

“This will be our first endeavor with a charter school, but we’re no stranger to dual-enrollment,” said Pensacola State College President Ed Meadows at an event Tuesday morning announcing not only the charter school, but a large gift to enhance the students’ experience once the school opens.

The new dual-enrollment high-school will serve students in 10th, 11th and 12th grades and offer them the opportunity to graduate with both a high-school diploma and an associate degree.

“We had one of our largest classes of high school students getting their associate degree at the end of this academic year," said Meadows. "So (this dual-enrollment school) will be very similar to what we are already doing. The only difference will be all of the classes will be housed on campus. They will be dually enrolled students in both our high school and our also college.”

Meadows says the new school will eventually have an enrollment of between 200 and 250 students. And those students will have a state-of-the-art technology center at their disposal.

“Dr. Meadows, I’d like to today present you a check for $100,000 from the Gulf Power Foundation to help make this state of the art technology innovation center a reality,” said Mike Spoor, Vice President of Gulf Power druing the announcement of the school and the technology center. He  presented the college with the ceremonial check during the announcement. He says the company was interested in advancing education in science and technology. “We certainly have technology kind-of in our DNA. In fact, Gulf Power, now as part of the Florida Power & Light family, leverages technology in our daily business. It helps make our grid smarter, helps make it stronger.”

The location of the school on the Warrington campus was chosen because of its proximity to NAS Pensacola. The primary focus of this school is to provide educational opportunities for students who come from military families. But U.S. Navy Captain Tim Kinsella, NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer says the school will be increase educational choices for all families in Escambia and perhaps Santa Rosa counties.

“And this isn’t just for military children," said Kinsella. "Yes, military children need it. They come from all over the country, they have their own very unique set of challenges. But this is something that is going to benefit the entire community. I strongly believe, whole-heartedly, that this is going to be transformational for our community here. It really is, for all the children.”

The new charter school and the new technology center have a targeted opening date of August 2022. 

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.