Discussing four options for Fort Myers Beach Elementary future

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Paul Dolan

A beloved school’s future is in limbo, so parents and the Lee County School Board are discussing options for Fort Myers Beach Elementary ranging from restoration to selling the school.

Parents of students that went to the school said it’s a huge part of the community.

Lee County School board. CREDIT: Lee County

“We have an amazing school that, like I said, extension of our family,” John Koss, the parent to a second grader, said.

Tuesday, they lobbied the Lee County School Board to commit to saving their school heavily damaged during Hurricane Ian.

They don’t care that Fort Myers Beach Elementary is the smallest elementary school in the district, and enrollment is expected to drop.

Board members debated four different options during Tuesday’s workshop.

  1. Students would be relocated to neighboring schools as the school board would consider reopening if enrollment increases.
  2. Put portables at Fort Myers Beach Elementary for classrooms, administration, a cafeteria, and hope to use the historic building in the Fall of 2023.
  3. Add a new elevated building to accommodate 150 students from Kindergarten to Fifth grade.
  4. Sell the property and relocate students to neighboring schools.

The only option parents like Koss want the board to consider is one that rebuilds the school.

“Our school is part of our community. It’s not just a normal school. It’s really the heartbeat of our community. So it’s a big drive by us to make sure that this happens,” Koss said.

Fort Myers Beach Elementary. CREDIT: WINK News

But again, the board said it’s not ready to make that commitment.

Starting Wednesday, crews will begin the remediation process of historic buildings.

The superintendent and board would like to decide the fate of Fort Myers Beach Elementary sometime in January but admit it may take longer.

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