Lee County School Board debates classroom portable conditions after member’s claims

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jack Lowenstein
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Lee County Public Education Center. Credit: WINK News.

Monday, Lee County School Board and the school district superintendent debated school conditions in public for the first time.

We first reported about portable classrooms, showing photos from board member Gwyn Gittens last week. They showed rusty doors and chipped cinder blocks. These were conditions Gittens called unacceptable for children.

Board members responded collectively to these claims by Gittens during their meeting. Some tense moments were shared during the topic of discussion and what was a four and a half hour meeting.

“I know some people were saying, ‘Well, why did you bring this up? Because pictures don’t lie,” Gittens said. “That’s what it is on the campus of Varsity Lakes right now.”

“We’ve got to maintain our investment, and I don’t feel like that we’re maintaining our investment for some of these portables,” board member Melisa Giovanelli said.

Giovannelli also said parents are now complaining to her that their children walk to portables in the rain and sometimes lightning.

District staff said any portables less than 4 years old do not require coverings, and Superintendent Greg Adkins reminded everyone the District does not have unlimited resources.

“I understand the concern,” Adkins said during the meeting. “There are limited dollars for these projects, and these portables are quite expensive.”

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