Santa Rosa County District holds new East Bay ribbon cutting

Special to the Press Gazette/USA TODAY NETWORK

NAVARRE — Santa Rosa County District Schools hosted a ribbon cutting for the East Bay K-8 school July 16.

The school is at 2535 Elkhart Drive in Navarre.

The new East Bay K-8 School in Navarre on Friday, May 28, 2021.

“We are extremely proud of East Bay K-8, Santa Rosa County’s newest school," said Dr. Karen Barber, superintendent of Santa Rosa County District Schools. "The cutting-edge design, along with the excellent teaching staff and support of the families and community, will provide our students with an outstanding learning environment. East Bay K-8 will be a school of excellence and will serve the needs of our students for decades to come.”

The hub at the new East Bay K-8 School in Navarre on Friday, May 28, 2021.

East Bay will start the year with 64 teachers and 21 educational support staff to meet the needs of just under 900 students, ESE pre-K through eighth grade. Staffing includes office educational support staff: bookkeeper, data entry, and secretary.

Within the total number of teachers are two guidance counselors — one elementary and one middle; a dean of students; a librarian; and ESE inclusion teachers who will support the needs of students with IEPs.  

Principal Beth Mosely, left, and Assistant Principal Trish Johnson give a tour of the hub at the new East Bay K-8 School in Navarre on Friday, May 28, 2021.

"I am delighted to have a new school in south Santa Rosa County to meet the needs of our growing enrollment," said Wei Ueberschaer, Santa Rosa County School Board Chairperson. "This first-of-its-kind school in our county to house kindergarten to eighth grade students in one facility will provide new opportunities and innovative strategies for our children. I am so proud to be part of the construction and welcome all our new East Bay Eagles to this beautiful new school."


East Bay will provide art, music, and physical education to all elementary students on a special area rotation schedule with 20 minutes of recess daily.

Principal Beth Mosely gives a tour of the hub at the new East Bay K-8 School in Navarre on Friday, May 28, 2021.

East Bay will have two Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant playgrounds that will be installed after school begins, one for primary students (pre-K through second) and one for intermediate students (third through fifth).  

Middle school students attending East Bay have the opportunity to participate in physical education, chorus, band, art and ITV studio.

East Bay will also offer two Career and Technical Education courses for seventh and eighth grade students, engineering and digital information and technology.

The hub at the new East Bay K-8 School in Navarre on Friday, May 28, 2021.

Students participating in CTE courses can continue earning certifications as they transition to Navarre High School. East Bay middle school students will also be able to excel in advanced English, math, and science courses, parallel to those offered at both Holley Navarre Middle and Woodlawn Beach Middle schools.

"The modern layout of the school provides students with age-appropriate wings in which grade level classrooms are clustered together," said Beth Mosley, principal of East Bay K-8. "East Bay was thoughtfully designed to offer Navarre a school with consistent educational and behavioral expectations, leadership, superior instruction as well as rich family engagement opportunities for families of children ages four through 14."

The new East Bay K-8 School in Navarre on Friday, May 28, 2021.

A few facts at a glance:

  • The school's unique design allows teachers to collaborate closely with one another, both horizontally within their grade band and vertically with the next grade band, offering students a continuum of superior instruction to meet their unique needs as they grow.
  • At capacity, the school can support the needs of 1,222 students in 24 primary classrooms and 20 intermediate classrooms.
  • The two-story atrium or “hub” gives students an area to showcase their talents and learn together on the student-friendly stadium seating or around whiteboards.
  • $4 million of the project was funded in part by half-cent sales tax proceeds. Through direct purchase of materials, the district was able to save more than $500,000 with an overall cost of $29,338,300.
  • The two-story steel-framed building is 153,000 square feet in size and was designed to Green Globes standards for sustainability and constructed to withstand 160 mph winds.
  • The building's design and construction was completed by DAG Architects, McKim & Creed, Berube Leonard, Schmidt Consulting Group and Culpepper Construction.
  • At its peak of construction in May 2020, there were 135 workers on site; five local trade contractors with offices in Santa Rosa County and seven with offices in Escambia County.

For more information, contact Brandi Bates, SRCD Schools public information officer, at 850-291-5911.