Cape Coral Fla--School Officials Question Fire Safety
Safety deficiencies cause district to postpone school construction plans
In light of recent deficiencies surfacing within the district’s school safety system, the School District of Lee County is suspending new school construction until a more aggressive safety policy can be implemented.
“Right now, we’re reacting to something that wasn’t done before. The plan is there, it just isn’t pro-active enough,” board member
Elinor Scricca said at a press conference Friday.
Deciding to place the safety of district children above construction needs to house projected student growth, the school administration has decided to halt pending work on all of its capital projects until the problems are rectified.
“The safety of our schools and children comes first,” School Superintendent James Browder said.
The delay, district officials say, could last up to a year.
Costing roughly $10 to 12 million to solve, the money used to improve existing safety plans will cut into funds the district had planned on using for the construction of new schools, causing the district to re-evaluate its building agenda.
“We’re going to re-evaluate our whole building plan,” board member Steven Teuber said.
This means the district will halt its agenda for the next phase of new school construction and possibly beyond, although construction efforts already under way will continue.
This presents good news to the Cape, as the decision will not effect the building of two elementary schools and one middle school within Cape Coral that already are in progress, officials say. Elementary School “Q”, Trafalgar Elementary, and Mariner Middle School still are expected to be completed by August of 2004, with classes beginning one year earlier in portables adjacent to North Fort Myers Academy For the Arts.
For more on this local story by Christine Brubaker, see the April 26 issue of The Breeze.