School District of Lee County/Facebook
fort myers beach elementary

Many Florida schools remain closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

Oct. 3, 2022
The Lee and Sarasota County districts sustained significant damage on several campuses.

Schools in the Lee County and Sarasota County districts in Florida remain closed as workers try to assess the extent of damage to buildings caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Fort Myers News-Press reports that professional inspections of all schools in Lee County began Monday.

"We are going to do everything humanly possible to open as quickly but as safely as possible," says superintendent Christopher Bernier. 

Lee County said on its Facebook page Monday afternoon that its preliminary damage assessment finds 54% of its schools are in low need of repair, and 14% have major damage. A few may be beyond repair.

In the Sarasota County district, assessment teams are reviewing the condition of all school campuses and district facilities – and the repairs needed varies at each location.

"Some schools have power and minimal amounts of debris; others have no power, need extensive repairs, and have massive amounts of debris," the district says.

The Florida Department of Education reported that 55 of the state's 67 districts were closed for at least one day because of the hurricqne.

In Lee County, at least three schools were so badly damaged that students will be relocated to other campuses: Fort Myers Beach Elementary in Fort Myers Beach, the Sanibel School in Sanibel, and Hector A. Cafferatta, Jr. Elementary School in Cape Coral. 

Pine Island Elementary in Bokeelia appears to be intact, but Bernier says power and water connection problems will interfere with any reopening of the school.  

In both Lee and Sarasota counties, several schools still are being used as community shelters for people displaced by the storm.

Sarasota officials say communication is still unstable throughout the county, not only local connectivity but within the school district itself.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

Sponsored Recommendations