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Council's Corner: Alva site could alleviate student overcrowding, expand district curriculum

April 26, 2017

The Lee County School Board is studying two locations to build a new high school. One will be built to open for the 2020-2021 school year; the other will be built five years later. One location is in Gateway; the other in Alva.

The guest speaker at the April 17 council meeting was Pamela H. LaRiviere, the District 5 Lee County School Coard member. She reported Lehigh Senior High School, East Lee County High School and Riverdale High School are currently at 97 percent capacity. The 2020-2021 school year projection capacity is 106 percent without a new high school.

Ms. LaRiviere stated utilities were not available and the condition of the roads surrounding the Alva location were not adequate. She also stated ingress and egress was a problem since there would only be one way in and out and the Gateway location has several options.

The Lehigh Acres Community Council supports the Alva location at Joel Blvd and Tuckahoe Road and has sent its recommendation in the form of a resolution to the Lee County School Board.

The curriculum for the new school has not been taken into consideration in making the site selection. Ruby Daniels, president of Alva Inc., presented the pros of building the school in Alva strongly suggesting the curriculum is essential to the decision-making process. The Alva school curriculum would be based on teaching students strong, hard-core agricultural science and the environment. Pollution, starting with the Caloosahatchee, is a major concern and we need to spark an interest in the young people to get involved in their future and the future concerns they will be facing.

Ms. Daniels stated utilities should not be a problem since electricity has been available at the site for over 50 years. Joel Blvd is an outstanding four-lane road as it has just been resurfaced. Ms. Daniels stated she drove to Lehigh Senior High School, East Lee County High School and Riverdale High School, all were located on two-lane roads and all had one way in and out.

Ms. Daniels gave sound reasons the new school should be in Alva and the curriculum is the most important because there is a lack of agricultural and environmental science taught in Lee County and it's so vital to the growth and development of the entire area.

The Lehigh Acres Community Council invites all persons interested in the selection of the new high school site to attend the Lee County School Board meetings. They are held twice a month on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. in Board Room 01-300 at 2855 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers.

There are additional meetings set for May 4 and May 16 regarding the site selection.

Your presence will make a difference in our representatives making the right decision, a decision based on curriculum and the future of our students and Lee County.

The Lehigh Acres Community Council serves as the voice for unincorporated Lehigh Acres. To contact the council, email



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