Fort Myers Beach Elementary will reopen in the fall

Author: Amy Galo Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

After parents spent the last seven months fighting to keep Fort Myers Beach Elementary School alive despite its damage from Hurricane Ian, the town council approved a renovation agreement at its Monday meeting.

The interlocal agreement comes with some conditions: First, the school board must renovate the school by fall to meet the temporary needs of the 52 students enrolled. And, second, it must increase enrollment to 150 students over the next four years. If Fort Myers Beach meets the enrollment goal, the School District of Lee County will continue to control the school.

But, if there are fewer than 150 kids in the K-5 building come 2027, the Lee County School Board could shut down Fort Myers Beach Elementary School.

The Fort Myers Beach Town Council approving the deal at is a major win for parents who have spent so much time rallying to make this happen.

“I feel like after I don’t know how many months it’s been—it’s seven, right? Seven and something—this finally feels like we’re taking a step forward to getting back home,” said Lynzie Mackey, parent of a Fort Myers Beach Elementary student. “I’m just happy to have some kind of a light at the end of the top of the tunnel for us.”

Parents seem optimistic that resurrecting the elementary school will bring back a sense of community to Fort Myers Beach.

“It’s what’s made us a community,” said local grandmother Jane Plummer at a past meeting. “Without our school, we’re hotels and rental properties… The beach school brings us together as a community. And it’s what’s going to bring families to the island.”

Fort Myers Beach Elementary School will reopen this fall.

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