Portable campus approved for Lee County school worth nearly $20M

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Paul Dolan

The price tag on a proposal to get kids out of crowded classrooms just got bumped up to $20,000,000.

The Lee County School District approved the contract to build a portable campus next to Hector Cafferata Elementary.

The building in Cape Coral was severely damaged in the storm, and students were moved to other schools.

Dr. Jason Kurtz, the principal at Hector Cafferata, spoke with WINK News about how the school is doing.

“See that whole big piece of trim fell down. There’s a temporary roof on now to keep everything dry,” Kurtz said.

Days ago, the district brought teachers back to the building for an emotional reunion.

Hurricane Ian damage done to Hector Cafferata Elementary. CREDIT: LEE SCHOOL TV

However, students won’t be welcomed back to the school for the foreseeable future. For the time being, they’re learning at Pelican and Hancock Creek Elementary.

On Friday, Board members discussed creating a different solution, a portable campus at Cape Coral Technical College.

“When that particular building was being built, there was a swing campus that was built on this location behind the Cape in the past, so the infrastructure for water, infrastructure for plumbing, wastewater, electricity, the runs, and the raceways are there,” Dr. Christopher Bernier, the superintendent for Lee County Schools, said.

Meant as a temporary solution that could last up to two years, it would cost the district $20,000,000. But, despite the hefty price tag, board members voted unanimously to approve the temporary campus.

The temporary campus is estimated to be complete in approximately one month. All students and staff would return there until the board makes further decisions on the future of their campus.

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