BOCA RATON, Fla. — We are two days away from a new school year and hundreds of students on Wednesday will walk through the doors of a brand new Palm Beach County elementary school for the first time.
Blue Lake Elementary School, located off North Military Trail in Boca Raton, will help relieve overcrowding at neighboring schools and provide a new environment for students.
The city of Boca Raton donated the land for the school, seeing the need in the community.
"We recognize the importance of great public schools for a thriving community," Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer said. "We have both in Boca Raton, and to be able to add another one and ease crowding issues and prepare for future growth is a tremendous asset for our city."
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The last deliveries arrived Monday morning as the school gets ready to welcome students on Wednesday..
Principal Seth Moldovan beamed with with pride as he showed WPTV around his new work home, all 95,000 square feet of Blue Lake Elementary School.
"I can’t wait to see their eyes light up and see this beautiful campus put together," Moldovan said.
The three-story school is divided up with different grade levels on each floor, every classroom full of technology.
"We have the flat panels up in front and we also have a moving flat panel here for reading groups," Moldovan said.
Teachers are turning blank walls into works of art, making their final preparations before students arrive.
Fifth grade teacher Olivia Pasler said it's a special experience to help open a school from the ground up.
"It’s been really cool to be part of our positive behavior system here and create and invent everything," Pasler said. "So it’s a great opportunity. I feel very blessed."
Pasler's classroom feature stadium seating, with desks at different heights for different areas.
"One of my favorite things about them is how you can configure them in a bunch of different ways," Pasler said. "I have them in groups right now."
Moldovan said the heart of the campus is the media center filled with $150,000 worth of library books and a state-of-the-art television studio.
Safety is a top priority, too, with cameras, identification badges, intercoms, and other school district security systems in place. It's something Moldovan said is made easier by having the school all under one roof.
"It helps tremendously," Moldovan said. "If you are standing at the front of our school where you first come in, you can literally stand there and see everyone coming into the cafeteria. You can see everyone going down the hallways."
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While there is a lot to see at Blue Lake Elementary School, Moldovan said it's the people that will really make it shine.
"This is a beautiful campus, but at the end of the day, this is all about the relationships that we build with our children and our community," Moldovan said. "The staff we put together is phenomenal and I can’t wait for our kids and our parents to meet them."
Just shy of 700 students will walk through the doors of Blue Lake Elementary School on Wednesday, with space for more than 900, leaving plenty of room to grow.
The rezoning process for the school earlier this year impacted students at Calusa Elementary School, Verde K-8 School, J.C. Mitchell Elementary School, and Addison Mizner School.
"We got the new public school because of hustle," Singer said. "We saw there was money in the school district budget, but no land located for it. And that’s what I approached [School Board Chairman Frank Barbieri]. If we give you the land, will you give us the school? And that set up the year-long process to get the school approval, leading up to all of the construction, until today."