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Seaside Neighborhood School Gains Title to Building

Seaside Neighborhood School in Northwest Florida Daily News

By DEBORAH WHEELER / Walton Sun

Published: Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 15:52 PM.

SEASIDE — Seaside Neighborhood School got some more good news recently.

During a school assembly, Seaside founders Robert and Daryl Davis ceremoniously handed over the deed for the Seaside Neighborhood School Founders Building to Seaside Foundation President Rick Helfand. The Founders Building was the last of three school buildings that was not owned by the foundation.

Seaside Neighborhood School had been renting the building from the Davises for about $75,000 a year.

Helfand approached Robert Davis last year with a proposal to buy the building. Davis eventually decided to donate it to the foundation instead.

“It made sense for us tax-wise to donate instead of sell,” Davis said.

The school’s main building was paid for with fees the Davises collected from allowing “The Truman Show” to be filmed at Seaside in the mid-1990s. The school opened in 1996 as one of Florida’s first charter schools.

During the ceremony, the Davises were heralded as the visionaries of Seaside and the school, which started with 35 children in house trailers. Today, 133 students attend and are selected by a lottery.

The Davises donated the land for all three buildings.

Davis said he discussing whether he can donate land for Seaside Neighborhood School to have a high school.

“There is the possibility of donating the Lyceum and land for more school buildings,” he said. “But it is still in talks. The idea for Seaside Neighborhood School depends on students being engaged in the community and its cultural activities. We are talking to see if it can be worked out.”

The building donation follows news that Seaside School will add high school and elementary school grades. The school now serves grades six through nine.

The school will offer grades nine and 10 this fall at Northwest Florida State College’s South Walton campus. Plans call for adding an 11th grade in 2014 and a 12th grade in 2015.

An elementary school is scheduled to open at Alys Beach in 2014.

Contact Walton Sun Staff Writer Deborah Wheelter at 850-654-8443 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @WaltonSunDeb.

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