Battle continues over location for new Lee County school

FORT MYERS, Fla. The fight over the location of a proposed high school isn’t over yet.

The Lee County school district’s site selection committee recommended the school board vote to build the school in Gateway, but some Alva residents are still hoping to bring the school to their neighborhood. The school board will take the committee’s recommendation and make a final decision June 27.

Longtime Alva resident Don Ruane doesn’t have any children or grandchildren, but he thinks a school would be important for bringing the community together.

“Rural areas need education facilities just as must as the urban areas,” he said.

Ruane has lived in Alva for nearly 25 years, but some have been there even longer and watched as resources passed them by, he said.

“We have people out here who have been paying taxes for 45 years, and all the education facilities are all the way over in Lehigh Acres,” Ruane said.

But not everyone shares his opinion.

“There’s absolutely no good reason to put the school out there,” Gateway resident John Heck said.

Alva simply doesn’t have the infrastructure, student population or money that Gateway has, Heck contends.
Denise Eberle, who lives in Alva, shares Heck’s sentiments.

“There’s not the population here to support a mega high school here of 2,000 students, and it just makes no sense financially,” she said.

The committee’s decision looked at development costs, traffic, and how many students could attend either school, ultimately deciding Gateway is the better option.

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