Lehigh Senior High to open new JROTC building
Lee County Schools and Lehigh Acres Senior High School held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the school’s new JROTC Building on Friday. The nearly-completed, $13 million expansion project was finished and intended to be ready for the first day of classes on Monday.
According to Rob Spicker, School District of Lee County spokesperson, the JROTC facility is the largest in world, at 73,000 square feet of space. It will provide an additional 700 student stations.
“The first floor will be dedicated to JROTC students and the second floor utilized for classes,” Spicker said.
Spicker opened up the ceremony with the JROTC Color Guard presentation and then introduced Lee County School Superintendent Dr. Gregory K. Adkins.
He took a moment to thank the project’s construction company, the faculty at Lehigh Senior and the students.
“They just started on construction in January this year, and this building will be open and ready for business this Monday morning,” Adkins said.
Adkins credited the success of the project on Lee County voters’ support in passing the half-cent sales tax increase.
“This project demonstrates what can happen when this community comes together,” Adkins said.
According to Adkins, this project is just one being fueled by the rapid growth of Lee County’s East Zone.
“We are addressing growth not just with this project, but also with additional projects for a new high school opening up next year, a middle school the year after, and then later on an elementary school,” Adkins said.
School Board Chair Gwyn Gittens took the podium to address the crowd and reminded everyone gathered that the day’s celebration goes far beyond bricks and concrete.
“Folks, we’re here today not to applaud a building, but who’s going to come out of this building. Those who are educators know that there is no greater reward then to see a former student and know you made a difference,” Gittens said.
Principal Jackie Corey ended the presentation portion of the ceremony and remarked on the school’s rapid growth and the community’s support.
“I’m trying not to cry because this just makes me so proud on so many levels. This has been a community effort to build this school and this landmark building. Eight years ago when I came here we had 1,600 students and now this year we are expecting 2,600 students. I am not afraid of that, I am excited,” Corey said.
According to attendee Michele Arbour, the school’s department chair for physical education, Corey is the glue that holds it all together.
“I have been in education for 42 years now and this school is amazing. Jacky Corey is the heart of this school. Everyone here is a family and that comes from the leadership. It’s a kid-centered, family environment with a zero-violence policy. Safety is her No. 1 goal,” Arbour said.
Lehigh Senior High School is at 901 Gunnery Road, Lehigh Acres, Fl. For more information on the school, visit lsh.leeschools.net/