VIDEO/PHOTOS: Marco residents oppose Collier school district’s alternative energy plan for vacant land

Terri DiSciullo on Tract K solar

Former Marco City Councilor shares her thoughts.

— The Collier County School District may have seen the light, but for the residents of Marco Island, it is going to take some more time or a seat at the table to put solar technology on Tract K.

The residents of Marco Island spoke loudly in opposition to the proposed alternative energy project Tuesday during a joint meeting of the Collier County School Board and the Marco Island City Council.

Tract K is an 11.6 acre piece of land off of Tigertail Court on Marco Island. It was deeded to the district in 1989 by the Deltona Corp. for “school purposes.”

Superintendent Dennis Thompson and Gary Elliott, CEO of United Energy Technologies, spoke to the council Tuesday about a proposal to use 4 acres around the edge of Tract K to put solar panels on the property.

In return, Thompson offered the remaining 7.6 acres of property to the city of Marco Island at no cost to the city for use as the city sees fit.

Thompson said the agreement would benefit the district and the Marco Island Charter Middle School, which pays a portion of its energy costs, while giving Marco Island the deed to a property valued at about $3.5 million. In addition, local students would benefit by taking trips to see the solar panels and learning about alternative energies, he said. He also believed it would stimulate development in the area and would save 4,000 barrels of oil.

“It will also utilize a resource that is not currently being used to the benefit of all,” he said.

Tract K has been sitting vacant since the Deltona Corp. deeded the property to the district. In March 2006, the Collier County School Board had discussions about selling Tract K. Those discussions were met with anger from Marco city officials and residents, several of whom wanted the district to build a school on that site.

The Collier County School Board decided against selling, but then there was talk that Marco Island and the district could find a piece of land owned by the city to swap with Tract K. But the city and the district could not find a piece of property acceptable for a swap.

That is not to say there are some problems with the Tract K site. There is an eagle’s nest in a tree in the middle of a site. While the district could build its solar panels during the season when the eagles are not nesting, the city would not be able to use the remaining property until the eagles had left the nest and didn’t return for six years.

City council members and the public wanted to know about the feasibility of putting a school on the property. Thompson quickly responded that the Collier County School District had no plans to put a high school on the property.

“I am not able to recommend building a high school when we have so many vacant seats at Lely High School and the other high schools,” he said. “We also don’t have the land to build a high school. We need 35 to 50 acres minimum for a small high school. There is not enough space to build a high school and give students the equivalent education they would receive at another high school in the district.”

But some Marco residents said they were not looking for the district to build a traditional high school.

“Allow us the opportunity to come up with an alternative plan, a school for exceptional student education,” said Mario Sanchez, a Marco resident and a professor at Miami-Dade College. “There are parents in this community who would love it. ... You have told us a small high school is not an option. Let’s think outside the box.”

Terri DiSciullo, a former Marco City councilwoman who is the treasurer for the Marco Island Parks and Recreation Foundation, applauded Thompson for looking at alternative ways to save operating costs, but said she and the Foundation did not agree with the decision.

“We cannot support using 4 acres for a solar field instead of using it for its intended purpose,” she said. “I think Tract K would be more valuable as ball fields, a park or a high school.”

Marco Island Civic Association President Howard Jordan said the community still had many questions about the proposed project. He said while he appreciated that the district was looking at opportunities for alternative energy, educating children should be the priority.”

City Councilman Chuck Keister suggested that since the district had a bigger budget than the city, it should develop the remaining site into passive park use for the children and families of Marco Island, with maintenance paid for by the district.

Thompson said the district was interested in turning the property over to the city.

“We see this as an economic benefit to both the district and the city. The district will get to use the solar energy to pay the utilities of two schools and the city would get a piece of property worth about $3.5 million at no cost to you. We have no interest in keeping the land. We are in the business of schools.”

Thompson said the alternative is that the land sits there, an unused resource.

Keister said since the district did not seem interested in pursuing other education opportunities, it indicated the district was only interested in the money it could get from the land.

The meeting was not held to come to a final decision on the land use. The Collier County School District has applied for grants for the project for the solar panels, but will not hear back on those grants until mid-Febrauary.

In addition, the Collier County School Board has not formally met to vote on the matter, but board members have conceptually approved the plans.

Still, if the Collier County School Board should move forward with plans to put solar panels on the site, it would have to go through the Marco Island planning and zoning department and city council for final approval.

Many residents complained about how the process was moving forward.

“This is a partnership, not between the city and the school board, but between Dr. Thompson and United Energy Technologies,” said Greg West. “The people have spoken on the island. I suggest you listen to them.”

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 46

waterday writes:

Applause for Greg West- The community would like Tract K to be a high school for the deserving kids of Marco. A small exceptional school would please most in the community and the parents. Thompson is obviously just looking for the money and has no interest in looking into the benefit of an educational building. Lely is a D School, the vacant seats will remain. Many parents are now transporting kids to the other public schools in Naples to avoid Lely! (Naples High, Barron Collier etc) and costly private schools. Marco Charter is excellent- build something comparable for these children for high school. These children will return to Marco and better your community in the future! Tract K should not be sold and the vision of Deltona (a high school)-constructed on TractK. Mr. Thompson does not have the best interest of the local children in his decisions.

Marcoptomist writes:

Tract K = High School. That is the best use of that land. A small high school is all that is needed. The mention of empty seats at Lely is a rediculous reason for not building a quality shcool on Marco. If Marco Middle School worked, there is no reason a small execptional high school would not be extremely successful. It would benifit this community by allowing it's children to receive a top education right here, create jobs, help real estate values Island wide, not to mention the pride this community would have with having the ability The benifits of solar panels are almost laughable. They will not produce the benifits that they are estimating as a 20 year return. Also, I just love the idea that it would be an educational trip for the children to go see. Whoopie......Hey mom, I went on a class trip to Tract K and we looked at solar panels! Enough said. Build a School or leave it empty. Go Greg West!

playballonK writes:

You know I'm all for a ball park on K!
Kudos to Discullo and the rest who want whats right. Lets all do the RIGHT THING on Marco for a change.
It can't always be about lining the pockets of the good ol' boy network on Marco.

freedomofspeech1 writes:

The idea of a high school on Tract K is RIDICULOUS! There simply is not enough land to build one. The school would be without many amenities that a full size school provides. There would be no room for an auditorium, gymnasium, football, baseball and soccer fields.
Kids go to school primarily for an education, but education is more than just in the classroom, it is found in a well rounded educational experience. Without the aforementioned amenities the Marco student's education would be "one dimensional" and our kids would miss out on the experiences of athletics and clubs simply because the school would be too small to accomodate these activities. There is a high school now on Marco but how many attend? It is not attractive in the sense if your child wants to be a part of a sports team or band, they would miss out. I persoally wouldnt send my child to a Marco Island High School.
Another reason for not building a school is the lack of socialization that woud be found. Contrary to popular belief, MOST marco students attend their zoned school which is Lely.
Lely for those in the REAL WORLD. Lely is a D school primarily due to results on an FCAT test. The school does not educate D students. The school annualy graduates hundreds of scholar athletes equally intelligent to their counterparts in Naples, Gulf Coast and Barron Collier. The top 10% students at Lely are no less inferior to any school in Naples.
The people on Marco need to get over the idea of coddling their kids and keeping them on the island. Send your kids to YOUR school.....LELY and let the fields open for all our citizens. One last thing...for those of you that send your kids to Naples ad Gulf Coast instead of Lely, SHAME ON YOU! You are the guilty ones when the Lely scores come out....You are the ones that send your kids to other schools based on "perception". Perception is not always reality...What are you telling your kids when you send them to other schools that most of their peers do not aattend?? That it is OK to run away..The right thing is to participate in the process and by doing so, you reverse the trend. The Marco Charter school is no more an A school as Lely is a D...why? Because that school is made up of a group of students that come from a socioeconomic backround tat lends to superior testing. The Lely group as it involves a large percentage of middle to lower socioecnomic individuals is simple a lower rated school based on demographics. Bring the average East Naples resident from the Manor and educate him at MCMS and tell me you will retain an A rating??? HIGHLY DOUBTFUL. BOTTOM LINE...MICMS IS A PRODUCT OF THE ENVIRONMENT. There is no magic being performed there!
We dont need any more schools here on Marco...use the land for fields and tell Mr Thompson to ELIMINATE SCHOOL CHOICE AND OUT OF ZONING AND THE POPULATION PROBLEMS AT LELY AND GOLDEN GATE HIGH SCHOOLS WILL VANISH!

Fossil writes:

freedomofspeech1: Your ideas on education are reflective of what is wrong with education in this country. High Scool athletic programs/facilities drain resources and hours that should be used to educate and not serve as training grounds for sports. Educational administrators that spend resources for only "hundreds" of scholar athletes in a school district is likely one of the reasons the rest of our children are so ill prepared after 12 years of "participating" in the process. If you want to teach socialization then teach civics, social studies, geography, humanities, health and world history. Perhaps then our students will be better prepared to live in a global society and identify their own country on a world map.

waterday writes:

freedom- Your reasons for not putting a school on Marco are RIDICULOUS! There is enough land to put a small high school(400+ children attend MICMS)11 acres is sufficent for a model high school- MICMS is great because of the teachers and parents who SUPPORT this school. The high school on Marco will be great because of the teachers and parents who SUPPORT it. I disagree and have children in many sports programs in MICMS and Lely. The children can and will still be in sports and will not lack in athletics. There are many small private schools that we can play - MICMS plays the small private schools! and there are many other teams to place athletes on. the park and YMCA also have facilites that the local children can use/ If a child is good and excells or even wants to play- opportunity exist. You have to be kidding! Socialization at Lely! Is this the socialization skills that you want your child to learn at this impressionable age- I see first hand the socialization skills from the minor low income diversified families- AND IT IS LACKING- This is one of the reasons families do not want to put children that have been taught well in socialization at Lely- so that the high school with inferior D Grades and inferior students (who are not taught how to act, respect, or learn!) can teach our Marco children how to disrespect. You are correct that Lely does produce some outstanding students- but the majority of the students at this school are not outstanding. The parents on Marco are not in denial. It is the simple truth. More families are taking children to other schools- Naples High, Barron Collier,etc, and expensive private schools like Community so that their children (who have been taught well) are not undone at Lely! These numbers increase every year and more are increasing (expecially in the sports and athletes!) so if you think that Lely is acceptable and okay, you sir- are in denial. Lely is a D school (and at present) not acceptable- Lely has cut staff recently (less counselors- now only three) The children that attend this school are not ready for college and are not given the best opportunity possibly. Lely needs brought to par (which will not happen- due to the minority and lack of parents support from all of these children) so the other option for our children of Marco is a nice Small High School. This was in the plans of Deltona and should be finished. Many of the MICMS children also come from Lely Resort, and East Naples. The parents, residents and community of Marco need to make certain this dream happens for future children. I do have children and I am a parent who has an A Student at Lely and I am not impressed with Lely High School. Parents of Marco children that attend MICMS A rated school should expect and deserve better for this area than sending our kids to a D School with many problems from many minority kids! Give our local childen the A grade High School they deserve to attend!

extra234 (Inactive) writes:

agreed 25years. I don't understand the logic behind having a 400+ student middle school yet a 400+ student highschool is considered "impossible", a "bad idea", "unrealistic", etc.

TheVoice writes:

We need a High School for our Island children, to say Lely High is an acceptable school is crap lets talk about how children of illegals are allowed to attend Lely, cant even speak english are allowed to take classes such as spanish for an easy grade,cant read the english text put in front of them but somehow still pass from grade to grade, disapear for 2/3 weeks and pop up back at school with the ones that can speak some english, laughing about how they along with there moms and dads where caught sent back to mexico and made their return,(RUMOR) maybe but think its investagatable,On a side note School of choice does not cause poor fcat scores thats ridiculous,but kids allowed by parents/teachers to be slakers do, lets talk about how the grade curve effects a student that does his/her expected work load with passing grades in return for a lower g.p.a than they deserve because of students allowed to slack being slipped into the next grade so the teachers dont have to deal with them the list can go on and on why lely isnt any better than most inner city schools around america do the research for yourself all I know is we have an opportunity to create a better educational future for our kids and to not do it is just plain s-----!!!

freedomofspeech1 writes:

Keep dreaming TheVoice....

themessiah writes:

I never thought I would live to see the day that Marco "fossils" would become so elitist!
"Let's not send our kids to a D school filled with minorities lacking social skills" is what you are preaching. YUK!

I can't wait to see your Marco Island High School sheltered children get into the real world and not know what to do with themselves when it comes to interacting with the vast majorities. I'm sure they can open their civics books and review before they approach social situations.

School books and professors are NOT the "real world".


waterday writes:

themessiah- Environment if very important to well being- and with child's development the environment is even more important! Just curious.. Where do you live? Did you choose Marco Island? or did you chose Naples Manor? Did you choose your nice environment that you live, work and socialize in or do you live in the hood? or the manor? or the farm workers low income area? Children learn by example, by behavior, and by good peer and role models. Lely High is lacking in all of the above. Marco needs a decent grade A high school, Lely is a disappointment for our children. You really do need to GET A CLUE! you choose your nice "real world" our children deserve the same choices.

capt1black writes:

Your prejudice is shining through. Just be honest and say you do not want your child to be near the Hispanic and black kids. Your argument for a high school is that your kids are around bad people from East Naples. I know many amazing students and parents that live in the manor. They are not there by choice, but circumstance. I also know a few less than positive role models that live on Marco. There is a drug and alcohol problem with many teenagers on Marco that has nothing to do with the kids from East Naples. They have the funds to get it and many parents that turn a blind eye to what their children are doing with a “Not my child” attitude. There were more fights and drug arrests at Gulf Coast when I was there than there are at Lely and that is a school some Marco kids are going to. There are also many role models at Lely and not all are from Marco.
Lely did not get rid of guidance councilors; Dr. Thompson cut the counselors district wide at all levels. All the high school lost councilors. The ratio of student-councilor is the same at all the high school. Some may have 1 or 2 more at the school only because the student population is larger.
My sons FCAT scores have gone down every year at the charter school even while he is an A student there. Do I think they are failing him? No. Determining the whole education experience on a school grade based on 1 test is short sided at best. I have worked at Naples, Barron, and Gulf Coast and can say that the curriculum, teaching methods and teaching effort is equal at Lely to all those schools.
If you have specific problems with the education your daughter is receiving, if you have not already, go talk to the administration. Yell and scream until the issues are fixed. Go to the SAC meetings and tell them your issues. They are parents like you trying to make Lely a better place. I can see why your kids would hate to go to Lely listening to your bash it all the time. Parents need to be part of the solution not create more problems.

Marcoptomist writes:

Why would anyone want their child to attend a D- School if they had the choice and means to send their chiled to any other school? Real world or not, Baron, Gulf Coast, Community School, anywhere that is not a D-School is a better choice, period. Ethnic background, non-english speaking students, have little to do with why many do not want their children going there. While yes, there are those that succeed, and succeed very well at Lely, there is simply to much wrong with the learning environment. And if there wasn't anything wrong with the learning environment at Lely, I believe Marco parents would in fact send there children there. Parents involved in raising their children with the means to drive them to another school are trying to simply provide the best education for their children to succeed in life. Marco's Track K is big enough for a school and yes there is currently a high school with not much particpation at this time, however, it has a much different model than say a Charter High School that would be run similar to Marco Middle. Thank goodness for school choice. If a Marco parent feels Lely is great for their child, then that is their choice and perogotive. If another wants to send their child elsewhere because of Lely's D grade, then that too is their choice. This is America, isn't it? While there will likely not be a school built on Tract K, it is a shame that Thompson and the school board just put their blinders on and can not imagine something other than another large school where our children are simply just another number lost in the thousands of students. I attended a very small school, with less than 75 students in my highschool graduation class. To this day, I would not trade a second of my education, in which I fealt I was part of a family, compared to be lost in the numbers where you don't even know your classmates. Sports where partipated in and enjoyed.

waterday writes:

Marcoptimist- agree 100 percent. My children have friends from many Naples/Marco areas and we have black children and hispanic friends at our home often(from East Naples)skin color or race does not matter- it is what is inside that counts. my children have many friends and they are all "good" kids. We are talking about Lely D school- the environment is not acceptable at Lely. My child is okay at Lely and likes the school. Problem- I expect more from this high school than just Okay- D grade school is not okay! even with a child receiving A. The school is a disappointment for all the children (from a A School) having to attend a D school Lely(unless you have time or money to get your Marco child to another choice). There are many problems and many children that Lely is "just trying" to get graduated high school. I expect my children to get the best education and to be "trying hard" to get into colleges of their choice. A small high school on this island should seriously be looked into, and Thompson and the School Board needs to be openminded and concerned with the education of our children. Our School Board and Thompson have shown blindness- unacceptable. Shame on our School Board! Our children should come first. Tract K= Marco High School.

TheVoice writes:

Excuse me,Capt1black, But playing the race card is a cop out, my comment has nothing to do with ethnic back ground it is a statement to point out one of many educational problems with lely and the distractions allowed by the school system in naples, And as far as being prejudice my half black niece and her father whom I am proud to have as a friend would be disapointed to hear such ridiculous accusations, secondly prior to moving to Marco we lived near detroit where we also had a school of choice program and many blacks and some latinos attended our school but due to a great group of staff/teachers and parents our school was a B school which is far more acceptable than a D school so to down play people wanting a better education system for their kids by saying they are prejudice is a joke but to have a school with a staff/teachers that care more for the knowledge they can give rather than the $8,000.00 per student they recieve is not so Welcome to the 21st century capt1black we are all equal....

TheVoice writes:

correction, sorry capt1 my point would be addressed to themessiiah for the most part.

liberator100 writes:

Anti-sewer crowd is now the anti-solar crowd. Tomorrow they will be anti-food; anti-breathing, anti-sunset; anti-human; anti-everything that is progressive, creative and beneficial to all Marco residents. They will oppose anything and everything that is good for Marco Island. They lost big in the last election; but it appears they did not get the message that a vast majority of Marco Islanders rejected them and their negative attitudes. Same crowd, same faces. Ray the-fossil Paret, Fay president-for-life Biles, Roger non-resident Hall, Chuck no-sewer Keister, Mario know-it-all Sanchez, Bill far-from-the-truth McMullen (lived away from Marco for 15 of the 39 years he claims to have lived here) and Terri I-hate-the-YMCA DiSciullo.
I am personally routing for the eagle to remain on Tract-K forever!
Mr. Thompson, please keep Tract-K. Lely High School is a good school for Marco kids.Many of our children who attended Lely studied a lot, worked hard, received a good education and moved on to great colleges around the country.

happy6 writes:

liberator...i don't think any of the folks you mentioned have high school age children or plan to have any more sound like issler and monte...still touting the strp...why is everything tied to the strp?
parents can influence the school system...if lely is bad..and i have no idea as to whether it is or isn't...then the parents need to get involved and help fix the problem...the solution is not to "build" another school to protect the chosen few...many parents dump everything on the teachers and leaders of the school system...again, i don't know this about lely...the parents need to get more involved and i guarantee lely will be a better school.

Fossil writes:

liberator100: You seem to be full of bile and hate for your fellow citizens. None of the people you mention have stated that they do not support alternative energy projects. Solar energy is a good alternative. Like most citizens at this meeting, the ones you listed and more, do not support using Tract K as a solar park. That said, they all promote higher education for our children. Higher education is good. They all share your concern for the preservation of Marco Island's Eagle nests. Eagles are good. Lely High School was a good school and needs some attention by Mr. Thompson to again make it a good school. Hopefully all the current students at Lely will be able to study in the same academiic and social enviornment past students have had. Adequate resources and maintaining and funding public education is good. Liberator100, please read your comments and reflect upon them as I have. Now, don't you feel silly? You should.

liberator100 writes:

Fossil: No. I don't feel silly at all and I stand by my factual comments and challenge you to dispute the facts.
Van: Read my remarks again. You are repeating my points. I am neither Issler nor Monte nor anyone you would know. I could not care less about a solar park, a bald eagle or a high school on Tract-K. Read the message carefully and stop trying to shoot the messenger. STRP has nothing to do with what I said and everything to do with what Keister and his friends said at the meeting.

happy6 writes:

Anti-sewer crowd is now the anti-solar crowd. Tomorrow they will be anti-food; anti-breathing, anti-sunset; anti-human; anti-everything that is progressive, creative and beneficial to all Marco residents. They will oppose anything and everything that is good for Marco Island. They lost big in the last election; but it appears they did not get the message that a vast majority of Marco Islanders rejected them and their negative attitudes. Same crowd, same faces. Ray the-fossil Paret, Fay president-for-life Biles, Roger non-resident Hall, Chuck no-sewer Keister, Mario know-it-all Sanchez, Bill far-from-the-truth McMullen (lived away from Marco for 15 of the 39 years he claims to have lived here) and Terri I-hate-the-YMCA DiSciullo.


Kyle_Rozankowski writes:

Ok for all of you who are "bad talking" Lely High School-- please "shut up". I am tired of all of you old people on Marco Island "talking smack" about MY SCHOOL. In case all of you don't have your facts straight here we go. A)There are only 2 schools in Collier County that are allowed to have dual enrollment English courses on the HS campus. Lely is one of these (along with Naples HS). Barron and Gulf Coast do NOT have on-campus dual enrollment English courses. This means you can take college courses at Edison. B) In case you haven't noticed in the world today not everyone carries around $1,000 in their pockets. Just because a lot of the students that go to Lely are the minority, doesn't mean that it is a "bad" school. Personally I have gotten a superb education at Lely. Also, I have gotten the "Real World" experiences I need when I leave Mommy and Daddy's roof and live on my own. I am sure half of the people who live on Marco have gone to a school where there were no minority students and don't have the experiences I do.

Also, my parents have NOTHING to do with this. If you have a problem with what I'm saying take it up with me, not them!

extra234 (Inactive) writes:

Who determines what "experiences" one needs to partake in before he or she can "make it" in the "real" world?

I went to a private high school with 300 students total, about 85 in my graduating class.

Marcokira writes:

These comments are unbelievable. I wonder how many commentators here are actually in touch with Lely High School. 25years, are you suggesting that all Lely students based in Naples are brainless, uncivilized people not worthy of sharing education with the elite, superior Marco Island students? While Lely certainly needs improvement in some areas, it is still perfectly capable of providing education to students who want it. I personally entered Lely in all regular classes, and now I'm about to graduate in mostly AP classes. I believe that I have learned to a greater extent than I ever imagined back when I began high school. If I were a parent of an incoming freshman from Marco Island, I would certainly rather send them to a larger school with more structure and exposure to the outside world, rather than retain them in a small institution giving them the same experience they had while attending MICMS. Despite the grade, Lely is a capable school, and parents should have nothing to fear when sending their kids to Lely.

lynngarner04 writes:

No need to create a high school on marco there is barley any room and what kind of sports or activities could they really create. It is a waste of money if you ask me it just gives them an exscuse to keep there children on teh island. There is no need to waste money when there is a great school a couple of miles away. And for thoses who are to high strung to send them to Lely you have no idea what goes on in Lely. Good education, great new friends, good teachers and you get to mingle with minorities if you wish to think it that way. Our school is the best FCAT is just one way that measures our school and yes it is bad but that just reflects that students are bad test takers and need to learn how to, which lely does. Lely is a great school I am a senior this year graduating with good grades and bright plans for the future. Dont blame Lely just because you dont want to let your kids out of your site. Oh and one more thing if you think Lely is bad if you havent noticed half of the drugies, too friendly men and women are half of marco they are just really good at hiding it. So future parents before you blame Lely for there grades look at your kids who could be doing more or doing bad things without your knowledge.

themessiah writes:

Wow, students from Lely (the "minority" school) who can actually read & write. How can they possibly be able to do that while attending a 'D' school? Hmmmmm...smell the sarcasm?

gators910 writes:

Well my take on this whole tract k has nothing to do with lely high school,it does have to do with the land and why it was deeded.I dont know if a high school is the best thing for this property but i do know a solar farm is not the answer.The cost of this project and the savings to the schools just dont add up.The panels should be installed on the school and not on tract k this property was meant for the people of this island and not the chosen few to profit from it..I havent heard from anybody about the cost to maintain these panels and how long they would last i have heard it will cost 8 million and a savings to the school of 100 grand a year 80 years is a long time to break even .Also will these panels withstand a category 3,4,5 hurricane or will they be thrown into the houses that surround tract k and who will pay for the damage and replacement of these panels from a hurricane.Tract k should be a passive park until we can decide whether we need a school ,park,ball fields but not a solar farm.we also have bald eagles nesting and im sure when we run out of building lots the burrowing owls will be looking for a place to nest.lets make the right choice and not rush into this solar project.

beetlejuice writes:

A high school would be a perfect fit for this property. Why should solar energy replace classroom learning? Why should students be bussed to Lely in Naples, when they can learn on Marco Island?
It doesn't make sense to me.
Marco Island needs a high school!
Otherwise, give this land back and it will be a charter high school soon enough.

beetlejuice writes:

lynn A COUPLE OF MILES? You are so kidding about distance here.
Do you know how many island students have DIED driving to Lely High School from Marco?
This is not a matter of distance, it is a matter of an island being ignored by a school board.

multi_million_heir writes:

place the solar panels on unused space, buildings etc. at the water and wastewater plants. the electric substation is right there. the learning tours for students can then cover three very important topics.

Fossil writes:

Comments written by Lely students confirm the public's concern. Mr. Thompson, use Marco tax money for our kids.

TheVoice writes:

well according to my daughter and trust me nothing she does is hidden from me,we taught her moral values,anyhow she states your marco kids being the so called drug users as false, most of the drug using kids attending lely are from golden gate and the manner just another reason for Mr.Thompson to actually look at the reason why we need our own High school these children are Brain washed into believing that a second rate education is fine,secondly since were on the topic of exposure to lifestyles, if some marco children are using drugs would it not be due to the exposure to drugs and if you need to know if your child is using just go to the local drug store and purchase a test.And isnt it obvious that one of our fellow bloggers lets say maybe themessieh put these youths up to the task of making there comments im just saying...But good for them to speak there opinion...

TheVoice writes:

or is it possible capt1black who says he nows many lely students anyhow Build that school!!!

waterday writes:

TheVoice: Is Mr. Black the Mr. Black at Lely?
and perhaps the messiah looks like he is part of the new Church high school with a low attendance rating, not wanting a public small high school for the fear of losing his few students. Most the drugs (the few kids that partake on Marco) are comming from the manor and golden gate- my child from Lely will also confirm this. Wake up Marco and demand a high school from this uncaring school board and Mr. Thompson. Many families with middle schoolers leave Marco due to the choice of Lely. A nice small high school could be a A grade role model- like our Charter School and bring more families into Marco- families now move from Marco because of Lely High. Lely is not acceptable and many of the teachers(not all) do not care about our students or even teaching the students at this school. Wake up, the truth is not always pretty.

capt1black writes:

25- Yes I am. Not only am I a teacher at Lely, I am also a Marco resident for 19 years, a father of a Marco teenager and a coach for the MICMS. I am not affraid of my opionions and I am not affraid to hide behind a generic username. May I ask who you are? I honestly believe that the student that wants to get a great education at Lely can and do get one. As stated, I have worked at many of the local high schools in one capacity or another. I know what they all offer. If I did not care about the school and its students I would not be there. I chose to work at Lely from another high school.
Voice, No, I have not talked about this with any student, here or at school. You say you have a tenager so you know they are very opionionated and do not need someone to tell them to speak their mind.
You both may notice, I did not give my opionion about whether there should be a high school on the island. I only gave my opionion that is contrary to some of the things 25 said about the students from East Naples and Lely.
There are many great students and parents on Marco that I work with everyday. But, I stand by my drug remarks. There are some parents that bury there heads in the sand and there is a drug and alchohol problem on this island. It has been there for many years. Be thankfull your child is not involved and has not been around those that are involved, but that does not mean it does not exsist.

waterday writes:

Mr. Black- you obviously read words into my comment. We do not discriminate not do we tolerate prejudice and our children have many good decent friends from East Naples and Lely. The school is the problem, you (I know) are a involved teacher/coach. There are many teachers at this school (not all) that should not be there. Our kids are there to learn and the teachers are responsible for teaching these children. The D rating is due to the lack of discipline and teaching. If the teacher does not care to teach the students (or truly want to be at this school) then the students will not learn and this school will continue to have a D rating and you will hear from more parents, like myself, that expect better for children that have been taught at Marco Charter A rated by involved teachers and parents. You are right! most parents are very involved at Charter we lose that involvment at Lely, we do need to become more involved and I will do my best to start to be more involved in this school. My child and the Marco children deserve a better education and a better environment than Lely at present is offering. Lely needs work, and a high school on Marco just might not be a bad idea. You are an asset to Lely and we are glad that you are there. I know you believe in Lely and it would be nice to see one of the oldest school in Naples get a passing grade.

MarcoBound writes:

Solar panels belong on top of structures, not on the ground. United Energy Technologies benefits, not Marco. Ask Gary Elliott what the projected profit is on the project for his company, and see if that's more than the money Marco will supposedly save by installing panels.

Nothing wrong with being a capitalist and making money, but lets call a 'duck' a 'duck'. Claiming this will serve some sort of educational purpose for the children is laughable. Let's not make this about making money. Land is finite. Unless a volcano pops up on Tigertail, there will never be another Tract K. Use it wisely.

TheVoice writes:

Wake up Mr.Black I'm not saying a few Marco teens are not experimenting with drugs or alcohol, but it would seem due to your loyalty to your job and school you would prefer to ignore the facts about lely this isn't some movie where a strong willed parent or teacher will change the way this school operates or lack there of over night , does it need to change yes for the future of its future students, It could be years before the school sees its lost greatness return we need change now for the sake of its present students or the only alternative is to remove our children from it and put them somewhere more capable and it only seems logical for that to be in the city that they live with a High School right here on the island this would help establish ownership to the parents and students that attend its halls create more involvement of the educational process to which our kids receive and ultimately would be a better school.

TheVoice writes:

By the way Mr.Black you do teach computer lab and work in the library at LELY next time use your spellcheck...LOL

capt1black writes:

I accept the criticism. I did that one in a hurry and did not spell check. However, those in glass houses should not throw stones. You may want to check your grammar and spell check yourself. Not that it matters, but I do not teach computer lab, I am a Librarian at Lely.

lauralbi1 writes:

Many of the bloggers above do not give a hoot about students on Marco. They are more concerned about fighting against Sloar Panels. This conversation needs to start over again and everyone needs to express their opinion, and develop their opinion, with the understanding that CCSB is NOT going to build any school on this property. Lely, and it's proximity, legally meets their (CCSB) obligation to Marco and doing anything on Marco to buid another High School, dilutes an already "empty" Lely. There will not be any money coming from CCSB or Collier County for any School on Tract K. They have said that, and we need to accept that. All the wonderful ideas about what type of school would be great are relevant only if those proposing them understand that it would have to be funded by Marco Island taxpayers. Maybe a Private High School is the answer ?? We would need to study out years (10 plus) to estimate cost and demand. Everyone needs to accept the fact that no money is forthcoming from CCSB and Lawsuits have already been lost, at State Supreme Court Level (City of Naples), arguing getting money back from CCSB and Collier County. So who wants to pony up the money to build a school ?? I do not know what should be done, or can be done, with this land, but it will not be a school unless Marco Island pays for it. Period, end of story.
Ed Issler

themessiah writes:

I suggest a University on the Island.
Maybe we find some land for this.
Once our kids graduate from the Marco Island High School, we need a place for them to go...
This will allow 4 more years of "protection" from outside influences, possibly 8 if we can figure out some sort of graduate program!

marcoislandres writes:

I don't know what kind of high school Lely is but I do know 2 students there were recently arrested on murder charges. I don't think I want my kids going there. How many people do you know who went to a high school where a student was arrested for murder? And how many people reading this had a 20 mile round trip to school each day.
There is plenty of room for a high school on this island, it may have to be a charter school but if it gets build it will be full and it will increase property values on the island.

Fossil writes:

Issler, what's a "Sloar Panel"? We do so need a high school and where there is a will, there can be a way. If Marco organizes and finds a way to subvert public administrators and politicos who insist on working within the box, these goals may be accomplished. Educational reform is coming to this country one way or the other. We cannot continue to allow our public school system to keep turning out a product that cannot compete in the world economy.

waterday writes:

This land was intended for a school, and the Community of Marco knows this. Lely is not meeting the obligation of Marco students. A school similar to Marco Charter would work. Collier County and CCSB need to also be held accountable. Marco Island may have to pay for it, but it should be built for the students. Education & grades should be first.

playballonK writes:

This may be a s----- question, but why do Lazarus and Elliot get first and only shot at this solar b.s.?
No bid process?
No county oversight or background checks on UTI?
Ah, its not who you know....

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