Lee County School District LogoThe Lee County School Board has voted to proceed with a 76 acre site at the intersection of Imperial Parkway and Shangri-La Rd. for a new high school in Bonita Springs.

The board had originally voted in April to acquire the land, but then backed out of the contract in May following the revelation that a diesel fuel spillage had been discovered at the site. The fuel spill concern came on the heels of news that asbestos waste had been dumped on the land during construction of Imperial Parkway.

Under the new contract, valued at $10.9 million dollars, the school district will conduct extensive soil testing to determine the level of hazardous waste and the cost to clean-up the land.

The revised contract covers the costs of whatever remediation might be required to settle environmental concerns.

The total cost for the first-ever high school in Bonita Springs, including land acquisition and construction will be $70.9 million dollars. Over 1,100 students are expected to attend the school when it opens in the Fall of 2018.

The search for a suitable site for the school has spurred heated debate, with homeowners in several gated communities near proposed sites protesting the proximity of a high school to their community. Homeowners in the Hawthorne community, next to the Imperial Parkway site have protested at school board meetings and threatened a lawsuit if the board moved forward with acquiring the land. The school board in turn has expressed confidence that their decision will hold-up in court if challenged. No lawsuits have been filed at this time.