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Facing uncertain future, Gulfport school starts fundraising campaign

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GULFPORT, Fla. (WFLA) — The future is uncertain for one Gulfport school.

Sunflower School has called Gulfport home for 50 years, and has rented space from Gulfport Presbysterian Church for 42 of those years.

The church is now selling the property.

Leaders at the school started a campaign to raise $750,000 towards the purchase price.

“We just really love our community and we feel we’ve been an essential part to it and they’ve been essential to us,” Co-director and teacher Nicole Molnar Riveros said. “We’re really focused on our goal and our goal is to secure this location for the next 50 plus years and generations to come.”

Andrea Smith’s son is a 5th grader at Sunflower Private School. She said the school is the center of his life.

“It’s been a place that let’s him be who he is, Smith said.

Smith said if the school can’t stay, it’s not just a huge loss for her son.

“The school is a healthy part of the community,” Smith said. “Gulfport needs Sunflower School.”

The school also hopes to expand its arts and theater program, build outdoor classrooms within a greener courtyard and add new arts facilities on-site.

“If we could stay here and keep teaching children and they go into society, they may come back with more ideas,” Co-director and teacher Bevin O’Brien said.

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