Lehigh High School upgrading security, campus to accommodate more students

Lehigh High School is expecting many new faces to roam the halls beginning in the upcoming school year.

To make room for those students, over the next year, the school will see major upgrades in size and security. Principal Jackie Corey says the campus will increase by as many as 300 students.

“I think we have experienced a lot of growth out in Lehigh. We have new housing developments so Lehigh is the place to be,” Corey said.

The school will be adding a new building that will house JROTC and social studies programs, which is expected to be completed in 2019.

“It will be a building that will accommodate quite a few students. It’s going to look very close and similar to what we have here, but the space will be designed in a way it’s user-friendly for those programs,” Corey added.

Students will also use outdoor portable classrooms, and a large covered outdoor dining area next to the cafeteria to handle overflow during lunch hour.

Security is an ongoing issue as well.

“Security is our number one concern in this district and certainly at the school,” Corey said.

Currently, the school has multiple entrances, but with the ongoing construction, they will relocate a security wall to make one secure entrance for the entire campus.

Corey adds that there will also be more security and training for security guards. The Lee County School District hopes to pay for the upgrades with a half cent sales tax increase. Voters will decide to pass it or not in November.

“I think it’s important that higher education or education is funded properly. I think that helps with property value,” said Estero resident Bill Kennedy.

“It may or may not be a good idea. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have an exemption for seniors,” added North Fort Myers resident Greg Pomper.

Right now, there’s no final cost for the project. The school is using loan money that’s already in the budget.

WINK News’ reporter Brendon Leslie has the story.