BOCA RATON, Fla. — We could learn more Thursday evening about who will attend a brand new elementary school in Boca Raton.
Now named Blue Lake Elementary School, the property's construction is moving along, but we still don't know which students from which communities will walk through the doors come 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 nearby Boca Raton schools and helping with overcrowding. Principal Seth Moldovan told WPTV education reporter Stephanie Susskind that no matter what the boundaries eventually 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 newest and much-needed elementary school.
"I'm extremely humbled and extremely honored to be the Blue Lake principal," Moldovan said. "I can see kids literally picking out their books here in the media center, being able to look at this beautiful space that we have here."
Moldovan is no stranger to the process. He opened the new Verde K-8 campus as principal in 2020.
"I really learned about paying attention to what is going to be best for children when we do open a new school, how to utilize the space appropriately, how to put safety measures into place," Moldovan said.
But this new school brings the opportunity to hire a completely new staff, something the veteran educator said motivated him to take the job.
"Putting together teachers from other schools is going to be something exciting," Moldovan said. "Putting together a team of teachers that have experiences from different places, all bringing it here and creating the Blue Lake family."
More than 40 classroom will be ready to welcome students come Aug. 10. Moldovan is expecting about 750 kindergarten through fifth graders at Blue Lake Elementary, with a full capacity of more than 900.
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Moldovan said the new school will be a new experience for many of the students.
"A lot of our children haven't been in an indoor school in Palm Beach County, even here in South Florida," Moldovan said. "So some of the students who are coming here next year are going to be coming to a brand new school — let alone an indoor building — some of them never having been on a second floor of a building in their lives."
When it comes to COVID-19's impact on the construction process, Moldovan said the biggest concern has been struggles with the supply chain.
"Working with the architect and Moss Construction and their sub-contractors, they are doing a great job of making sure the resources we need to open up this school on August 10 are here," Moldovan said.
Moldovan said he expects to open the school with 42 to 45 instructional staff members and has already hired 29 of them.
"Staffing a new school is fantastic,"Moldovan said. "I have the opportunity to hire every single educator, non-instructional position that is going to open up at Blue Lake and that's really what motivated me and intrigued me to opening up another brand new school. Having the opportunity to find and recruit the best and brightest educators for the children in Palm Beach County."
Moldovan said Blue Lake Elementary School will have a Gifted Program, a robust fine arts program, and more opportunities for students.
"Whoever is selected to go to this school, as I said before, they won the lottery. It's going to be the best school and newest school here in Palm Beach County," Moldovan said.
The boundaries to determine who will become a Blue Lake Gator are still being worked out.
"The kids are the ones who said, we'd love to have a gator as a mascot," Moldovan said.
Moldovan said Blue Lake students will have the best technology and programming the School District of Palm Beach County has to offer.
"Those kids are going to be some of the luckiest kids we have here in Palm Beach County," Moldovan said.
The School District of Palm Beach County's Advisory Boundary Committee is currently in the process of drawing boundary lines for Blue Lake Elementary Schoolto determine which students from which communities will attend there.
Committee members are considering three proposed zoning maps, two of which draw the school's boundaries farther north, while the third puts the boundary more compact around the school.
You can see the proposed boundary maps here:
The Advisory Boundary Committee is scheduled to hold a virtual public meeting on Thursday at 5 p.m.
At the start of Thursday's meeting, there will be community input regarding Study 3. The Advisory Boundary 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 go to Superintendent Mike Burke, then be brought to the school board for a vote. To watch Thursday's meeting, click here.
You can learn more about Blue Lake Elementary School by clicking here.