In an article published on July 12 in the official Alva Inc. newsletter, Alva high school advocate Don Ruane offered his congratulations to the Gateway community for being awarded the next public high school to be built by the Lee County School District in its East Zone.

Ruane led the unsuccessful effort to have the school built in Alva instead of Gateway.

In the article, titled ‘Gateway gets the high school’, Ruane said he would like to “commend the enthusiasm and perseverance of the Gateway parents who worked so hard to win support for the Gateway site.”

Ruane correctly noted that the LCSD board voted 7-0 in favor of Gateway.

Also of note, Ruane acknowledged that Alva Inc. was looking to “update its bylaws” and “refresh its board of directors”.


The Alva Inc. leadership has been saying on social media that they might be getting an LCSD high school in the next 5 years.

However, last month the LCSD released a document which stated that they don’t think they’ll be needing a high school in Alva for the next 15 years.

Maybe that was the school district’s way of asking Ruane to please leave them alone.

Circling back to the article in the Alva Inc. newsletter, there wasn’t much else of interest in the piece. But it was nice of Ruane to acknowledge Gateway’s win.

Since this could very well be the final time I write about anything Alva Inc. says or does, I would like to set the record straight for those who were in attendance on June 6 when Ruane was addressing the LCSD board.

Ruane, in a public statement, made it sound like the Gateway Sun had praised Alva Inc. for their long-term vision and commitment to the Alva community. In reality that article was specifically about how three members of the Alva Inc. board of directors, who all live in north Alva, were throwing everyone in south Alva under the bus. The article explained that Alva Inc. never really wanted the school because it’s a school – but rather because a large school would act as a magnet for development, ensuring that the majority of new homes and businesses would be built on the opposite side of the town from where they live, preserving their own peace and quiet.

When Ruane made his statement, deliberately taking what I had written out of context, John Heck turned around and looked at me.

We both just shook our heads and laughed.

Anyway, since Ruane publicly acknowledged the hard work by Gateway’s parents, I suppose we should reciprocate.

Nobody worked harder during the MMM site selection process than Ruane did. He was relentless, and there were a few times I thought “oh this thing is over, they’ll quit now for sure”… but he never gave up.

I wish I could say that it was a “fair fight” but their organization definitely crossed the line a few times from an ethical standpoint – and they were dishonest about their intentions right from the beginning. But I will acknowledge that they worked hard.

Congratulations to everyone in the town of Alva who helped Gateway get the school. You’re all invited to the ground breaking ceremony and we hope to see you all at our first football game!

We wish you all the best in keeping Alva rural.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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