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City of Boca Raton officials and Palm Beach County School District representatives met this week to explore new solutions to increase school capacity. Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa and District Board Member Frank Barbieri met with Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie, along with representatives from the business community, to identify potential solutions to the City’s growing need for more capacity in the City’s schools.
Recent discussions about the rebuilding of two Boca Raton elementary schools, Addison Mizner Elementary and Verde Elementary, have sparked discussion among residents and City officials about overcrowding. Many Boca Raton schools are approaching or have already exceeded 100% capacity, prompting District and City officials to reassess the urgency of need for more space and more schools.
At a City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 23rd, the Boca Raton City Council passed a resolution brought forward by Councilman Scott Singer which would allow the City to work cooperatively with the Palm Beach County School District and provide land for a new elementary school. The City-owned parcel is located near Don Estridge High Tech Middle School at Military Trail and Spanish River Boulevard and could be the new home of 05-C Elementary School.
This new elementary school was originally planned to be built in 2022, but accelerated construction could take place on land provided by the City. Pending School Board approval, the new school would be constructed at the same time as the new Verde K-8, with a planned opening in 2020 as an elementary school that will grow to a K-8 as students transition to 6th grade.
Once open, Elementary School 05-C would be the temporary home for Addison Mizner students while that school is rebuilt. The District, however, will continue to explore the use of the Sugar Sand Park area as a potential location for the new Addison Mizner School that would allow its expansion to a K-8.
This new plan provides the District more time to explore the potential for this location and to mitigate any concerns of the community about the site, including concerns about traffic from West Camino Real and congestion on Military Trail.
Other steps to increase capacity in the City’s schools include:
This plan will provide critical relief to the City’s growing schools and minimize the transition many students will make during their K-12 experience to just one, from middle school to high school. The movement to K-8 schools is gaining popularity nationwide, as a growing body of research suggests student performance is significantly impacted as a result of a transition from an elementary school to middle school.
View Joint Press Release
View City Council meeting discussion
View Resolution 18-2018
View Aerial MAP of Possible Site for NEW Elementary School (PDF)