Inclusion, cutting-edge technology inspire new Fruitland Park Elementary design

The new FPES campus will be designed as one building housing all administration, classrooms, cafeteria and enrichment classes.

There will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Fruitland Park Elementary School campus on Tuesday, November 14, at 2 p.m. The school’s location, at the corner of Urick Street and Urick Street, is closer to many of the neighborhoods where students live.

The new building is expected to open during the 2024-25 academic year.

“This moves us away from the busy Highway 466A area,” said Director Don Brown. “The new FPES campus will be designed as one building housing all administration, classrooms, cafeteria and enrichment classes.”

The school will be designed to house VPK and kindergarten in one wing of the building, elementary grades in the opposite lower wing, and intermediate classes on the second level above the primary grade levels. The central wing will include administrative offices, enrichment classrooms and a cafeteria.

“Although the new campus has some features that we currently like and that will remind us of our current building such as classrooms housed within one building with a central entrance where student work can be displayed and internal access doors, it will offer much more than our campus.” The campus can “Current saving,” Brown said enthusiastically.

Two auditoriums coming from each wing will be connected to the media center which will be located in the center of the campus between the outdoor learning area and the outdoor performance and activities arena. All classrooms will have access to bathrooms from within the classroom.

“Currently, many of our classrooms require students to use the bathrooms located in the hallway adjacent to the classroom, which takes up instructional minutes,” Brown explained. “The current campus consists of two main buildings, a cafeteria and 12 portable rooms. The new campus will house all classrooms in a secure building allowing us to not have to move students during severe weather warnings.”

There will be an outdoor pavilion with restrooms for physical education lessons, along with outdoor basketball courts and a large soccer field.

“The new cafeteria will have two food service lines, a large stage connecting to the music room, and a large seating area, and will be located at the front of the school allowing the ELC, our before and after school center, and parents easy access to the school,” she said. “We go out and pick up students, with Keeping students safe at a secure entry point.”

“We will be able to host programs and events on our campus instead of requiring parents to complete permission forms for field trips to attend at off-campus attractions, such as Heritage Community Church and the United Methodist Church, who have graciously allowed us to use their venues over the years.”

“We will replace 14 portable units with permanent classrooms and provide 21st century classrooms with modern technology and all the amenities we expect,” Kelly Randall, the district’s executive director of facilities and planning, told WFTV Channel 9. The new location will provide a safer and more secure campus with an outdoor learning arena, updated playing fields and PE structures.

The television news report added that district leaders do not expect any change in school attendance limits.

Inclusivity is a key design consideration. The school’s ESE educational support classes will be inclusive within the appropriate grade levels, Brown said. The new campus will have dedicated spaces for itinerant staff to work with students on specialized needs.

Also, the new campus will have a large commuter line that fits within the property and allows for multiple students to be dropped off and picked up at one time. The bus loop will be located on the side of campus closest to the VPK and kindergarten classrooms, allowing those students to be loaded and unloaded closer to their classrooms and cafeteria.

Artwork by an Eustis Middle student in the state capital

The school and teachers already provide outstanding educational opportunities for all Fruitland Park students, but the new campus will bring its classrooms into the 21st century with modern technology and security features that go beyond what the current campus can provide, Brown said.

“There will be two dedicated STEM labs, one for enrichment and one for teachers to access with their classrooms for labs and STEM projects,” Brown added. “Our STEM lab and art classrooms will have access to an outdoor learning area allowing for classroom learning experiences.” It extends beyond the four walls of the classroom.

“The media center will be more than just a place for books, but it will also have technology integrated with group workstations where students can complete collaborative projects.”

For more information, visit the Lake County Schools website at

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