To avoid mass shooting, new Lee County school has priority on safety

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Lee County is getting ready to break ground on a new high school, designed with safety as a priority.

For Neketa Watson, running a school is nothing new. She served the students and parents of Lehigh Acres Middle School for the last five years. But, being on the ground floor of a new school is a unique opportunity.

The School District of Lee County School Board chose Watson to open up high school MMM, which has a temporary name. It will be Lee County’s newest school coming to Gateway.

“I just cannot wait to build a dream school that will prepare all students for college and careers,” said Watson, MMM principal.

Watson’s is wasting no time preparing for her new mission. She had a tour of Bonita Springs High School Tuesday morning. Bonita Springs High School is the first Lee County school to open after the Parkland shooting. It is equipped with the latest security features.

“Every school is going to be single-point entry,” Watson said. “There are cameras all around, so safety is important and in this school, we will be safe.”

Bonita Springs High School will be the model for future Lee County schools, including MMM. Renderings mirror what is a reality in Bonita, with an expectation MMM will have a third floor.

The school’s first class of freshmen will start in portables at Lehigh Senior High School next fall. Then, in August of 2021, the school will officially open its doors to around 2,000 students.

Watson told WINK News she understands the urgency school districts face in keeping students safe. Her goal is to provide the best learning environment possible for students who want to continue their education into college or that want to go straight into the workforce.

“We’re gonna start with medical assistant, veterinarian, culinary arts and cybersecurity academies,” Watson said. “It would give students industry skills to go straight into those specific fields.”

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