Destin High School pushes forward with new $4.6 million location

According to a statement from the DHS Governing Board, they have entered into a $4.6 million purchase contract with Grace Lutheran for the land and buildings.

After previously going through an opening delay back in April, it looks as though Destin High School (DHS) is slated to open for 9th and 10th graders in August of 2021.

And now, according to a press release, the tuition-free public charter school is under contract to purchase the Grace Lutheran property, located at 4325 Commons Drive West, next to the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village.

The plan for Destin High School is to be a model for innovation, providing unique educational opportunities for both college-bound and vocationally-minded students.

According to a statement from the DHS Governing Board, they have entered into a $4.6 million purchase contract with Grace Lutheran for the land and buildings. A closing on the property is anticipated in early 2021.

Mike Wind, the Executive Director of Ministries for Grace Lutheran Church, said, “We are very excited for the Destin community as the prospect of having its own high school gets closer to becoming a reality. And, we are prayerful for them as the board works to make it happen.”

Greenwich Investment Management, based in Stamford, Connecticut, will handle DHS’s financing of the new site.

DHS’s Governing Board president, Prebble Ramswell, said, “The vision of opening Destin High School is about to be a reality due in large part to our donors, parents, community leaders, and our Governing Board. We are thrilled to have the assistance of RoundTable Funding whose financial advisors are highly experienced in guiding visionaries like the DHS Governing Board through the processes of securing charter school financing, retrofitting, project oversight and building additional school facilities. This community asset will make a positive economic impact while greatly enhancing the quality of life in Destin, Florida.”

In addition to site acquisition and financing, the board has also retained the services of DAG Architects. The local architectural firm, who has designed schools across the state including Destin Middle School, is designing site plans for the retrofit, and set forth a strategic plan to accomplish the renovation in record time.

The board also announced that DHS’s first head of school has been selected following a nationwide principal search and intensive interview process. The Principal will be announced in the coming weeks.

Rendering of Destin High School

The student enrollment application period will start in January. In addition to offering advanced and state-mandated core curriculum, DHS will utilize a place-based approach to learning that will take advantage of the local geography, industry, and community. This will allow the school to offer additional curriculum opportunities through authentic, meaningful, and engaging personalized learning for students.

Fundraising is a critical component of opening the school.  The start-up costs alone are $400,000, according to the board.  Long-term, the more revenue raised toward purchase cost, the less needed to be financed. This would allow the board to put additional revenue into student programming, opportunities, and options, according to a press release.

When Destin High School is fully operational, as with all public educational institutions, the school will receive state and federal government funding.

Area businesses and individuals can contact the DHS fundraising chair and Governing Board Treasurer, Sarah Stone, at (850) 598-6888 or sarah@saysarah.com.

“We would like to thank the students, parents, citizens and donors that have supported the efforts to bring forth this highly desired and needed educational asset,” said Governing Board Treasurer, Sarah Stone. “We promised that the board would be working hard to move the ball across the finish line. Destin High School is happening. Now is the time for the community to step up, donate, volunteer, and take part in the plan to enhance the community educational experience for our students.”

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