By Lisa Kopochinski
LEE COUNTY, Fla.—With a completion date slated for 2021, construction continues on the new $98 million Gateway High School in Lee County, Fla.
Rapid growth in one area of Lee County was the main reason for a larger school. Spanning 300,000 square feet, Gateway High School will have three stories of classrooms for approximately 2,000 students.
“We need the seats for students that live in the east zone, so we are building them as fast as we can,” said Rob Spicker, spokesperson for the School District of Lee County, in a statement.
There will be three main buildings, with the largest being devoted to the classrooms, plus the gymnasium, cafeteria, and an auditorium. The project will also include an array of athletic fields and specialty learning centers such as a veterinary clinic, cyber security training and carpentry academy. There will also be a black box theater.
Gateway High School is the first Lee County School built during the pandemic through COVID-conscious construction practices such as touchless water fountains, bottle filters and used easy-to-clean surfaces during construction.
This new high school is ushering in a new era of school build-outs that, by 2023, will grow the Lee County school district to a level not seen since the early 2000s.
“It’s awesome,” said Kathie Ebaugh, executive director of facility planning and development, in a statement,
“We’re in a major growth period in Lee County, and we are here to provide for the educational needs for our community so we’re building schools and we’re renovating schools.”
Suffolk Construction is the general contractor on this impressive project. BSSW Architects Inc. is the architecture firm.