The Lee County School District’s Operations Division will be delivering a briefing to the elected school board members tomorrow at 2:00pm, which will include an update on the new high school that will be built on Griffin Drive in Gateway.

Based on documents shared with the Gateway Sun, it appears the board will be told that preliminary estimates are that the school will cost between $75.4 million to $78.0 million to build. It’s important to note that those estimates are at the schematic design phase, and those numbers could very well change as the district gets closer to the bidding phase.

The figures mentioned above are estimates from the Architect and the Construction Manager. They’re not formal bids.

Also included in the briefing will be the school board’s first official look at the proposed layout of the school property.

When I looked at the layout my only real question was … is that a second football field at the northern end of the property?

Rob Spicker, the LCSD’s Assistant Director of Media Relations and Public Information confirmed that it was.

“These days, the high school field is used year round. Football, then boys and girls soccer, then boys and girls lacrosse, some track and field, and then summer football. There is practically no time for the grass to heal. Plus, a high school of Gateways size will likely have 3 football teams, freshman, JV and varsity. ROTC uses field space, and even the band might. It provides an alternative space to take all the pressure off of one field. Everything is still very preliminary and what is in the drawing could change.”

Spicker noted several times to me that the layout is preliminary.

Added Spicker: “Just to lay it out. The large yellow cross in the middle is three stories tall and houses the office space, media center and all the classrooms. The smaller yellow building in front is a black box theater. The larger one on the opposite side is the gym and cafeteria. Buses enter and exit thru the road closest to Magnolia Lakes. Students and parents will come in the main entrance, with drop offs going one way and student drivers the other. The three parking lots up front are for visitors (the smallest one), staff and then students. There are four tennis courts, two basketball courts and two sand volleyball courts in the green diamond between football and baseball.”

Did I mention this layout is only a proposed layout and not final?

But at least it gives us an idea. And keeping in mind I have NO experience or background in designing school plans … it appears as though the LCSD kept their word and designed the school property to have as little impact on Magnolia Lakes as possible. At least that’s how it looks to me. If you live in Magnolia, you may feel differently.

Also in the briefing discussion by the Operations Division will be a topic labeled “Potential roundabout needed on Griffin Drive”.

I have no details about that yet, but the meeting is tomorrow and I’ll be sure to report what they’re referring to in that regard.

Tomorrow’s meeting will take place at the LCSD’s main office, located at 2855 Colonial Drive. It begins at 2pm and is open to the public. The meeting will be streamed live on the the district’s YouTube channel, which you can access at:

The Sun will publish a full report about tomorrow’s meeting on Thursday.

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

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