A Neighborhood School

By: Denise Eberle

When I went to school, children went to the schools closest to their homes. They also were designed to complement their communities. Smaller schools in the suburbs and more prominent schools in the urban communities.

Lee County School District has plans to build a high school for 2800 students in the small rural community of Alva, smack dab in the middle of the  20/20 wildlife corridor, the Scrub Jay Preserves, near two active gun ranges and a gun accessory stand.

This wildlife corridor is the last of its kind in Lee County. Stakeholders have paid tens of millions of dollars to preserve this wildlife corridor. The wildlife that traverses this preserve are black bears, panthers, crested Cara Cara birds, gopher tortoises, and many more.

However, an alternative school property would be more conducive to the wildlife, the students, and their families. That property is 46.5 acres located in Lehigh Acres, where the students and families live with no wildlife concerns. It would be a neighborhood school. It is located at 201 Joel Blvd. The old golf course.

This property is centralized in location for other schools. It is centralized within Lehigh Acres.

I attended the Rock, Blues and Brews Festival in Lehigh Acres, an annual event put on by the Rotary Club of Lehigh Acres. I went there to talk to parents, families, and residents about the High School because the Lee County School District has yet to communicate with Lehigh Acres families at all about this school. Which I found interesting because the Lee County School District is saying they are proposing to advance neighborhood schools and reduce busing.

Every person I spoke with wanted this school to be built in Lehigh. Students approached me and wanted it built in Lehigh. The overwhelming response was, “It’s just common sense. “

It keeps the students together when they transition into High School, and many students can walk or ride bikes to this location. There are 2 middle schools (Lehigh Middle and Lemuel Teal) and a K-8 (VPAA) in the 2-mile radius of this location. All needed infrastructure is there. No wildlife or environmental concerns.

So, who exactly is Lee County school district building this school for?

Alva has virtually no students in the 2-mile radius. Students can not walk or ride a bike to school. There is absolutely no infrastructure at this location. There are no sidewalks, very narrow residential roads, or room for pedestrians. It would cost taxpayers an additional 10’s of millions of dollars. Where’s the transparency, financial feasibility, and responsibility?

Lehigh Acres students and families deserve a High School where they live, not out in the farthest NE corner of Lee County where EVERY student must be bused. That’s at least 36 additional buses and drivers needed. What happened to reduced busing? Those familiar with this area are very familiar with the accidents that occur. Do you want your teen drivers traveling out here?

Contact your school board, community organizations, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Kiwanis Clubs of Lehigh Acres. Request that they represent you to the Lee County school district.

Email your school board District 5 representative, Armor Persons. Start a petition within your community.

You can contact me, and I will collect them. I will deliver them to the school board. You can email me at eemsouch@aol.com if you have any questions.

About East Lee News

Stay Up to Date with Southwest Florida’s Latest Issue. We cover any and all topics of interest for those living near and far. Stay up to date with the latest articles.

Recent Posts

Request Banner Ad Placement

Sales / Media Inquiries

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors