School board back to picking sites for Bonita HS

Posted at 10:26 PM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 22:26:53-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A day after it terminated a contract to build a new high school for Bonita Springs, the Lee County school board began the process for selecting a new location.

"It has been a very, very difficult process, I think we have learned a lot along the way," said Superintendent Dr. Gregory Adkins.

In April, the board approved a parcel of land at Imperial Parkway and Shangrila Road.  On Monday county officials discovered diesel fuel had spilled on the property, and cancelled the deal.

"It's clear to me that they didn't do their due dilligence in the legal aspect, in the preparation of a site that may have hazards on it, without being tested," said school board candidate Chris Quakenbush.

She says the entire process was rushed.

Bonita Springs resident Donna Stone told board members she's upset an expert testified last month and gave the site a clean bill of health.

"She testified that they tested that land for contaminants, did they not test it for all contaminants?"

The board already began the process of selecting new sites.  Potential locations for a new school include a parcel of land in Estero off Three Oaks Parkway or in Gateway.

They could revisit the Imperial Parkway location, if the site is cleaned.

"We're talking about a multi million dollar investment. It is worth taking the extra time to make sure everything is really, really good."

Adding portable classrooms to high schools in the county is another option until a permanent school is built.  Some parents objected to the idea, saying it would add to the over crowding problem.