New school in town

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 09:27 AM.

The crystallization of a dream now stands at the end of Field of Dreams Avenue.

That was how U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland described last week’s official opening of the North Florida Child Development, Inc. Early Child Development and Family Resource Center in Port St. Joe.

Under a glorious azure cloudless sky, a crowd gathered to cut the ribbon on Gulf County’s first new school in more than 40 years.

“It’s surreal,” said Sharon Gaskin, president and CEO of NFCD and the dynamo behind the crystallization of the dream of her board’s some seven years ago. “It’s pretty satisfying. This was an accomplishment because this was a struggle at times.

“It is something I am very proud of.”

The new $5 million facility replaces the old Highland View Elementary School site used by NFCD and expands on the foundation of services at that facility.

The Early Child Development and Family Resource Center sits on two-and-a-half acres and is 18,000 square feet. It has two additional classrooms – 10 total – with room to add two more, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a multi-purpose community room and will offer an array of medical services in collaboration with the Gulf County Health Department.

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