BRADENTON, Fla. — According to a review by the state, it would be more cost-effective to tear down Palma Sola Elementary School in Bradenton and rebuild rather than renovate the more than 60-year-old property.
The Manatee County school board received the state's review in November 2022 but has yet to meet to discuss the school's future.
Nevertheless, rumors have been circulating among parents that a school board member said the school will be closing, prompting some parents to create a petition to 'Save Palma Sola Elementary.' As of Wednesday evening, more than 3,500 people have signed the petition.
The parent who created the petition, Kristina Snyderman, said she bought her home in the surrounding neighborhood because of the proximity to the school.
"Every culture at each school is different and there's just something about this school that just feels like home," Snyderman said.
Manatee County Schools Superintendent Cynthia Saunders said all of these concerns are premature. She said that the rumors may have stemmed from confusion over what the state's report meant for the school.
"It will cost a lot to get all of that up to code in the original state of the building and that may be partly, and I'm assuming, how the rumors started swirling," Saunders said.
No decisions have yet been made about Palma Sola and its approximately 600 hundred students.
Saunders said the school board has yet to meet to discuss the school and its future since members received the state's report in November.
"There has been no board meeting to discuss anything other than that everyone has received those two documents and there will be a conversation to discuss the next steps," Saunders said.
The county school board will meet multiple times, starting on Friday, Feb. 17, to examine the state's recommendation and decide what's next for Palma Sola. Those workshops are open to the public.
Saunders said no matter what is decided in the next few months, the school and students will be there in the coming fall.