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New public charter high school coming to Martin County

Site of new Martin County public charter school
Posted at 6:11 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 18:19:36-04

The first step was taken Tuesday to bring a new public charter high school to Martin County.

Martin County Commissioners agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding with Indian River State College to allow a high school to be built on county property.

“We are envisioning a new high school opportunity for students predominantly in our Indiantown location but all of Martin County to pursue dual enrollment opportunities through career and workforce education,” said Beth Gaskin, IRSC VP of Student Success.

Martin School Board Chairwoman Marsha Powers says this new school would create a stronger community, one often overlooked when compared to the coastal regions.

“Attend school in the community where they live. It builds your community bigger, larger… gives them more opportunities to stay,” said Powers.

Indiantown mayor Janet Hernandez says talk of a new school was news to her. She says she’s waiting to hear more about it before making a conclusion, but is in favor of stronger educational resources.

“It would be a benefit for a high school to be near us because it takes about 30 minutes with traffic to get to the high school,” said Hernandez.

IRSC already runs one high school, Clark Advanced Learning Center, with 250 students admitted via lottery.

This new school would be larger.

An anonymous couple made a multi-million dollar donation to get the ball rolling on the project.

The school would be built on a small part of land that the Martin County Fair is using for its eventual expansion.

“To bring a school on to the property and offer training, there may be opportunities for the kids to build the Agriplex as we get together,” said Jay Spicer, Executive Director of the Martin County Fair.

No word when the new school would open. The next step is for IRSC to bring a more formalized plan to the School Board for review. The board would then have 90 days to act on it.