As Florida communities in South Walton County continue to grow, a new elementary school is being built in the area. The Dune Lakes Elementary school is the first school for this age group built in the county in over two decades, and the project has been in planning for over three years. School superintendent said that the local area has grown significantly in recent years, especially in the south end of the county. While Walton County had 8,822 public school students in the 2016-17 academic year, it will have 9,100 in the 2018-2019 year. That number is expected to continue to rise.
Problems with school overcrowding have become apparent, and 15 portable classrooms were in use at just one local elementary school last year. Town officials say that the construction of the new school will solve the problem of overcrowding for some time to come. The school itself is being built on 33.5 acres of land near U.S. Highway 98. In addition to the school building, the real estate development will include a local sports park, mixed-use housing and retail. The school will have 59 classrooms and be able to accommodate 1,012 students in grades K through 5.
Architectural plans for the school include advanced technologies, including computer labs and a media center. In addition, the project will include nature walks, nature-themed classrooms, community gardens and open courtyards. Each classroom will also have a unisex restroom, a feature intended to reduce bullying and unsupervised time for students in the halls.
Large construction projects may be subject to disagreements about design, cost over-runs and timing delays. Contractors and construction companies can protect themselves when preparing for a project by developing clear contracts with contingencies in case of unforeseen events. A construction law attorney may help companies resolve disputes that emerge and prepare contracts to avoid problems.