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Groundbreaking Held for New Charter School on Treasure Coast

Braving the season’s coldest temperatures, more than 200 community leaders and dignitaries celebrated the official groundbreaking of the Treasure Coast‘s first developmental research charter laboratory school.
“We’re breaking new ground together” was the theme for the day's events. The innovative K-8 university charter laboratory school, developed in partnership with FAU and the St. Lucie County School Board with land donated by Core Communities, will serve as a model for education on the Treasure Coast.

Treasure Coast Campus Vice President Gerri McPherson welcomed community leaders and representatives from government, education, the state legislature and private industry to the on-site ceremony in the planned community of Tradition. “We have discussed this for many, many years and we are thrilled to finally be here,” McPherson said.

“The development of this public school will give the children of our community the opportunity to learn in an environment fostered by the latest in educational research,” said President Brogan. “This has the potential to lift the quality of education for generations to come."

The $35 million school is slated to open in 2008-09 and will accommodate approximately 1,600 students and 120 teachers. The curriculum and instruction will be linked to FAU faculty and researchers, giving students a novel learning environment and experiences.

Second grade student and Tradition resident Alfonzo Atkinson, 9, led the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was followed by a performance of the National Anthem by 12 members of the Lincoln Park Academy’s Women’s Ensemble.

“This is part of the whole vision we’re creating on the Treasure Coast,” said State Representative Gayle Harrell. “The creativity and innovation that comes out of this university lab school will benefit students in St. Lucie County, and then the lessons will be used across the state.”

McPherson invited guests to enjoy the afternoon’s refreshments and directed attention toward the groundbreaking area, where ceremonial gold shovels and hard hats awaited dignitaries. Keeping true to an elementary school theme, the handles of the shovels were brightly painted in the same primary colors as the custom-created Lego pyramids that were given to each guest by FAU Treasure Coast staff upon their arrival to the ceremony. The Lego pyramids, imprinted with the theme, date and logos of the three partners, symbolized the foundation that is being built by the partnership for the new school.

Note: The new school's admissions will be conducted via a demographically representative lottery process. A Web site detailing the process, application and directions (at www.coe.fau.edu/tradition) will available by July 1, 2007.




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