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Lee Alternative Charter shuts down in Lehigh

January 9, 2013
CITIZEN STAFF REPORT ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Most of the 149 students at the Lee Alternative Charter School, off of Taylor Lane in Lehigh Acres, are in classes in other schools in Fort Myers this week.

The students and their parents were forced to find other schools because the Lehigh school, which was owned by Richard Milburn Academy Schools of Southwest Florida, was forced to close due to financial problems.

It is the third charter school that is a part of the Milburn Academy of Schools that has been forced to close its doors over the past six months.

The school was located in what had been a multi-screened movie theater and later a church. The building was built about a dozen years ago.

One part of the school also was a bar one time and later was a place for residents to pick up food they had ordered through a national program to provide it to anyone who wanted to purchase it online.

A few years ago, it shut down national food pick up centers due to financial problems as well.

The teachers at the charter school taught students in grades 9 through 12 and students ranged in age from 15 to 21.

School officials said seniors were just a few credits from getting their high school diploma, according to Principal Tim Butts.

He said it had been open for five years and it had gotten a bad rap.

He and the school were featured in a story in The Lehigh Acres Citizen last year.

While there had been several fights in prior years, Butts said there had been a big change in the school and the attitude of the students.

He became principal of the school in September and said he had brought a new staff with him and things were changing.

The alternative school was for students with special needs and for those who were unable to succeed in other schools.



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