MILTON — The Santa Rosa County School Board is contacting Triumph Gulf Coast for funding to build a new high school.
Triumph Gulf Coast is a nonprofit corporation organized to administer 75 percent of funds recovered by the Florida attorney general for economic impact to the state from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. According to Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick, the organization oversees $300 million, and various agencies may apply to receive a portion of the funding for specific projects.
The school district had drafted a grant application to send to Triumph to receive money for a new high school within the district; the campus would be called Innovation High School.
“We have an opportunity to put forth a project or projects that would be evaluated as a part of the Triumph [money],” Wyrosdick said. “This is a project that has been talked about for three years. It’s a pretty daunting task.”
Innovation High School will use a career-themed approach to talent development for the district, according to the grant application. The focus at the school will be talent development, which simultaneously meets the needs of the students and industry within the region.
“We will nurture innovation through science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) while preparing students for high-skill, high-wage employment opportunities and their aligned post-secondary college and career pathways,” the application said. “It is our desire to supply a talent pool that will elevate our regional work-force to increase competitiveness.”
The school district will match the grant with land, architecture and engineering as a part of the first phase of the project, as well as salaries and benefits for the future staff.
The district will partner with local industry leaders — AppRiver, Ascend performance Materials, Gulf Power, Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and Northwest Florida Manufacturers Council — to assure programs are aligned with regional demands.
The district will also partner with local post-secondary education providers, such as Locklin Technical Center, University of West Florida, Northwest Florida State College and Pensacola State College.
According to Wyrosdick, the application requires school board approval for submission. It will then go to the Board of County Commissioners who will give the application “a thumbs up or thumbs down,” and the board will see if there are opportunities for articulation or partnership.
Wyrosdick said the district has many community partners with this project, and the overall response from residents has been positive.