Ground broken on new Bonita Springs High School

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. A high school years in the making is one step closer to reality.

The Lee County School District officially broke ground today on Bonita Springs High School, which is scheduled to open in time for the 2018-19 school year.

The 76-acre campus is expected to house nearly 2,000 students at the corner Imperial Parkway and Shangri-La Road. It’ll be the first high school in the city since it incorporated in 1999.

“It’s really going to address the tremendous growth we have in the school district,” school district Chief of Staff Marc Mora said. “We’re growing about 1,500 [students] per year, particularly in the south part of our district. So it’s really going to fit the need.”

The high school will be the first in the county to have an Aerospace Academy, an Air Force ROTC and a partnership with the Florida Gulf Coast University as a Collegiate Academy, Principal Jeff Estes Jr. said.

“We’re breaking from the mold of previous schools,” Estes said. “So it looks much more like a college campus. This site is beautiful with lots of natural light and trees. And we are going to incorporate that into the design.”

The district also announced the school’s mascot. “Bull Sharks” beat out “Bobcats” and “Ospreys.” Estes made the choice after the public voted on the finalists.

“The Bull Sharks — tough, strong, adaptable — what a great mascot.” Estes said.

Reporter:John-Carlos Estrada