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5th grade to finish year in old facility

A planned spring-break move at Bay Point Elementary won't happen. And a summer move is too late for disappointed students.

By DONNA WINCHESTER

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 28, 2001


ST. PETERSBURG -- Bay Point Elementary School administrators hoped their fifth-graders would be able to experience a new school, at least for a couple of months. They had planned to move from their old building at 2051 62nd Ave. S into their nearby new building on 22nd Street over spring break, April 9 to 13.

Now the plan has changed, according to Bay Point principal Gaye Lively.

"We missed the window of opportunity by about three days," she said. "Rather than go through the upheaval of moving while school is in session, we'll move over the summer."

According to Tony Rivas, director of facilities for Pinellas County schools, the move would actually have been ahead of schedule if it happened in April.

The technology magnet school opted several years ago to rebuild rather than remodel. The new school will eliminate the need for at least nine of the 14 portables now in use. Other additions include wireless computer technology and a publishing center.

Rivas said that regardless of when the school moves, it probably will not affect construction of Bay Point Middle School, scheduled to begin once the elementary school is vacated. Both schools share the general site, and construction on one was to finish before work on the second began.

"The kids are definitely disappointed that the school won't be ready," fifth-grade teacher Darlene McLean said, "but the school is trying to make some concessions."

She said a magnet showcase is being planned for May 24 to highlight the work of science, math and Spanish students, as well as to introduce the new building.

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