It’s an exciting time for kids in south Lee County as the Lee County School District is building its first high school in the City of Bonita Springs. This won’t be just any other high school, but a unique college-like campus with the opportunity to graduate with up to 60 hours of university credit from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).
The 76-acre campus is located just west of I-75 on the corner of Imperial Parkway and Shangri-La Road in Bonita Springs and will be home to the new Bonita Springs High School Bull Sharks.
Scheduled to open in the fall of 2018, it’s expected to accommodate nearly 1,800 students.
The school will offer a variety of customized academic programs to prepare students for specific careers essential to Southwest Florida and beyond. By partnering with universities, hospitals, and businesses, the school will offer more opportunities for hands-on experience, in turn helping solidify career paths.
These academic programs and career academies will include:
– FGCU Collegiate Academy
– Advanced Placement International Diploma
– Junior ROTC
– Career & Technical Education Programs
– Academy of Health Professions
– Aerospace Technology Academy
– Computer Science Academy
– Education Academy
– Environmental Controls Academy: HVAC
– Sustainability Academy
As students choose which career path they would like to take, a variety of experiences await them. Given the opportunity to explore such a wide array of specialties, students will have a huge jump on their professional career path.
The Collegiate Academy students will explore college majors through a partnership with FGCU and can potentially earn as many as 60 hours of credits from the university, as well as for other colleges.
The school will be offering a Junior ROTC program for those looking to pursue a career in the military and an Aerospace Academy for future fliers. In a partnership with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, students can earn their private pilot’s license and become certified drone pilots, potentially jump-starting their career as future airline pilots.
With the new Lee Health at Coconut Point campus being constructed just five miles from the high school, it opens a host of opportunities for students who want to become Certified Nursing Assistants. The school’s Health Professions Academy will prepare them for their CNA certification exam once they graduate.
The high school will also practice what they teach by incorporating many sustainable features into the school’s design. The Sustainable Academy Students can take advantage of hands-on learning in their 5.6-acre outdoor wetland classroom, harvest rainwater, even work in school garden where they can grow, market, and sell crops right on campus.
Athletics will also be a huge part of the overall package, including a football field with track, a baseball field, softball field, tennis, basketball, and sand volley ball courts.
Behind the scenes of this vast undertaking are layers of responsibility, as well as months of planning and construction. Our team is one of the integral layers that is helping bring this project to completion. As the civil engineer, our team assisted the lead architect, BSSW, with the overall site design for the complex, which included a stormwater management plan, environmental assessments, utility infrastructure, roadway and parking areas, and permitting. Working closely with BSSW, Lee County School District staff, and the rest of the design team, we are making sure the school is on the fast track to be ready for students in the fall of 2018.
Our team was instrumental in making many initial concepts come to fruition, including incorporating the existing wetland into the overall plan, giving students the opportunity to utilize this space for learning. We were also able to integrate green overflow parking spaces, supporting the school’s overall sustainable initiative.
It’s a privilege to be part of this exciting project, knowing the Lee County School District is working to refine and improve the educational amenities to better prepare our children for the future.
For more information, contact Dana Hume at [email protected].