Sebastian Charter Junior High’s plans for permanent home hinge on funding

 SEBASTIAN — Plans may be preliminary but that isn’t keeping leaders at Sebastian Charter Junior High School from looking ahead. Principal Martha McAdams said that the school hopes to build a permanent home on their current 2.16-acre site on Wave Street to replace the series of modular units that make up the school.

“You can’t stay in a modular building indefinitely,” McAdams said.

 But how quickly the school can replace the old with the permanent may depend on the Indian River County School District.

 “That’s up in the air,” McAdams said of how much, if any, the district might allocated for the charter school’s construction project.

 “They’re in the same boat as everyone else,” said Deputy Superintendent Michael DeGutis.

 With the downturn in the economy, the depressed land values and property taxes, the school district is receiving $12 million less for capital improvements (construction projects) than it has in the past.

 DeGutis said that the district’s school board is scheduled to meet with the county’s charter schools’ boards at a summit-style meeting later this month. The purpose will be to hear from the various boards and to address concerns the individual parties might have.

 Charter schools receive some funding through the state, which can be used for construction and other capital improvements, according to DeGutis, though he added the amount is not the same as the public school systems receive.

 If Sebastian Charter Junior High were to build a permanent school, McAdams said it could about double the school’s existing size. The additional space would allow the school to have a CafeGymaTorium (a combination cafeteria, gymnasium and auditorium).

 “It’s very, very tight,” McAdams said of the school’s current cafeteria.

 The school could also have larger classrooms, areas for conferences, more storage, and would even allow the school to have a separate library and computer lab – which is currently housed together.

 The school is going to start a capital funding campaign to get going on fund-raising for the new school. Such fund-raisers will include a Latin and Caribbean Food Festival in April.

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