Gateway High School will open its doors with new technology next year to keep it safe.
Officials celebrated cutting the ribbons on Wednesday. The school will accommodate 1,200 students. It was designed with the safety of students in mind.
The newly installed technology focuses on post-filming protection at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland.
Security starts at an old-fashioned guard gate as the only entry point that people with ID cannot enter.
The latest surveillance cameras keep an eye on visitors before they enter the school.
Lee County designed the school so that teachers, students, and staff can stay safe if something happens.
This is good news for Jaeden Browning and Ashley Carcamo-Najera, two ninth graders who will begin their high school careers at the new school next year.
“I just wanted to be part of the tradition and the community,” Browning said.
Browning and Carcamo-Najera gave up their old school, old friends, to start over at Gateway High School.
“It was difficult at first, considering we didn’t know each other,” said Carcamo-Najera.
Carcamo-Najera, a cheerleader, is used to leaps of faith. But she already feels safe in the new school.
“If something happens, they’ll be there to fall back on,” she said.
In addition to the county’s latest security system, teachers in each classroom can communicate with the office without a cell phone.
Certainly, the students can focus on all the programs that headmistress Neketa Watson has built into the school.
“I come from a middle school and one of the oldest middle schools in Lee County. So it’s definitely important to have a state-of-the-art building with high-tech security and high-tech cameras, ”said Watson.
The school will open on August 10th. The building can accommodate 2,000 students.
“I want to stand out and be the first class by 2024,” Browning said.
“Now we’re all like one big, great family,” said Carcamo-Najera.