Inside look at the construction of Boca Raton’s new elementary school
BOCA RATON, Fla. — We might hear more Thursday night about who will be attending a brand new elementary school in Boca Raton.
Now named Blue Lake Elementary School, property construction is progressing, but we still don’t know which students from which communities will be coming through the doors in August.
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Blue Lake Elementary School is located at 3300 North Military Trail, right next to Don Estridge High Tech Middle School and across from Lynn University.
There are a few options for how the boundaries will be drawn, impacting neighboring schools in Boca Raton and contributing to overcrowding. Principal Seth Moldovan told WPTV education reporter Stephanie Susskind that no matter what the boundaries look like, he’s excited to welcome students in the fall.
Every day brings new additions to the future Blue Lake Elementary School.
Moldovan is ready to lead the charge at Boca Raton’s badly needed new elementary school.
“I am extremely humbled and extremely honored to be the principal of Blue Lake,” said Moldovan. “I can see kids literally choosing their books here in the media center, being able to look at this beautiful space that we have here.”
The Moldovan is no stranger to the process. He opened the new Verde K-8 campus as principal in 2020.
“I really learned to pay attention to what will be best for the children when we open a new school, how to use space appropriately, how to put in place safety measures,” Moldovan said.
But this new school offers the opportunity to hire all-new staff, which the veteran educator says motivated him to take the job.
“Bringing together teachers from other schools is going to be something exciting,” said Moldovan. “To bring together a team of teachers who have experiences from different places, bring them all here, and create the Blue Lake family.”
More than 40 classrooms will be ready to welcome students on August 10. Moldovan is expecting about 750 kindergarten through fifth grade students at Blue Lake Elementary, with a total capacity of more than 900.
WATCH THE SCHOOL TOUR:
An Inside Look at the Construction of Blue Lake Elementary School in Boca Raton
Moldovan said the new school will be a new experience for many students.
“A lot of our kids haven’t been to an indoor school in Palm Beach County, even here in South Florida,” Moldovan said. “So some of the students coming here next year are going to be coming to a brand new school – not to mention an interior building – some of them having never been to the second floor of a building in their lives. “
Regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the construction process, Moldovan said the biggest concern was difficulties with the supply chain.
“Working with the architect and Moss Construction and their contractors, they’re doing a great job of making sure the resources we need to open this school on August 10 are there,” Moldovan said.
Moldovan said he plans to open the school with 42 to 45 teaching staff and has already hired 29.
“It’s fantastic to staff a new school,” said Moldovan. “I have the opportunity to hire every non-teaching educator position that is going to open up at Blue Lake and that’s really what has motivated and intrigued me to open another brand new school. Having the opportunity to find and to recruit the best and brightest educators for the children of Palm Beach County.”
Moldovan said Blue Lake Elementary School will have a gifted curriculum, a strong fine arts program and more opportunities for students.
“Whoever is selected to go to this school, as I said before, has won the lottery. It will be the best and newest school here in Palm Beach County,” Moldovan said.
The boundaries for who will become a Blue Lake Gator are still being worked out.
“It was the kids who said, we would like to have an alligator as our mascot,” Moldovan said.
Moldovan said Blue Lake students will have the best technology and programming the Palm Beach County School District has to offer.
“These kids are going to be some of the luckiest kids we have here in Palm Beach County,” Moldovan said.
The Palm Beach County School District Boundary Advisory Committee is currently in the process of draw the boundaries of Blue Lake Elementary School to determine which students from which communities will attend.
Committee members study three proposed zoning maps, two of which draw the school boundaries further north, while the third places the more compact boundaries around the school.
You can see the proposed boundary maps here:
The Boundaries Advisory Committee is scheduled to hold a virtual public meeting Thursday at 5 p.m.
At the start of Thursday’s meeting, there will be community feedback regarding Study 3. The scoping advisory committee could vote to recommend either study or request that staff come back with another study.
If the committee decides on a recommendation, it would be forwarded to Superintendent Mike Burke and then submitted to the school board for a vote. To follow Thursday’s meeting, Click here.
You can learn more about Blue Lake Elementary School by by clicking here.