Parents raise concerns about new Gove Elementary in Belle Glade

BELLE GLADE, Fla. -- Some parents have raised concerns about the capacity of the new Gove Elementary School, one of the largest elementary schools in far western Palm Beach County.

The school, which opens next week in the 1000 block of SE Avenue G, replaces its predecessor; the original Gove Elementary was built in 1964.

"My understanding is they don't have enough space," Tania Perez, a Belle Glade parent said.

The new Gove Elementary School was built to accommodate about 940 students.

Its projected attendance is 780 students, according to School District of Palm Beach County records.

As many as 200 students in the fifth and sixth grade, however, would attend classes in the old school, Darren Edgecomb, the school's principal, said.

Perez said she transferred her two sons from Gove Elementary to a private school after she learned they would attend classes on different campuses.

Kris Garrison, a planning director at the school district, said that a request to build additional classrooms had been denied by the Florida Department of Education.

Thomas Inserra, the director of the Office of Educational Facilities at the Department of Education, which oversees the planning, funding and construction of new public schools, did not return a request for information from WPTV NewsChannel 5.

A school district spokesperson did not return a request for information either.

On Tuesday, some parents said it was unclear whether the fifth- and sixth-grade students would have to walk to the new school for lunch or to speak with administrators.

"They built a nice school next door but it doesn't have the space we need. It is the same or worse," Perez, the mother of two sons said.

Next week, students at Glade View Elementary will begin the school year on the old Gove Elementary campus -- with the fifth and sixth grade students -- while the district builds a new Glade View Elementary.

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