New Middle school eyed in Viera as community to add 6,000 homes

The School Board has asked for an expedited report on plans to build more elementary schools and a middle school in the Viera area.

The intent is to take the stress off schools that currently serve students in Viera and surrounding neighborhoods, including possibly Delaura Middle School.

School Board member Matt Susin asked Superintendent Mark Mullins to present the report at the board’s Oct. 9 meeting. Susin made the request after The Viera Company announced plans to build 6,000 more homes in the planned community near I-95 and Wickham Road.

While Delaura wasn’t specifically mentioned in Susin’s request, he said a new middle school could help take pressure off the school in the future.

“Delaura’s enrollment is increasing at the same time that Viera’s (population) is increasing, creating Armageddon almost in 2022-23 where Delaura would be at or near capacity,” Susin said in a phone interview Friday.

Delaura’s boundaries stretch across the north side of Pineda Causeway to Interstate 95. A portion of the school’s service zone also stretches through Suntree to the north of Wickham Road.

The school has 819 students enrolled this year. Of those, Susin said 309 come from the mainland.

“We spend half a million dollars a year to bus those kids, 11 buses, across the causeway,” Susin said.

Even without taking into account a larger population in Viera, Delaura’s enrollment is projected to grow to about 950 by 2023. Susin attributed that to new housing being built in Satellite Beach and the fact that parents purposely seek out desirable neighborhoods with higher-rated schools.

“Those two areas right now are beachside and Viera,” Susin said.

It’s not clear yet how the boundaries might change if a middle school is built in Viera, or how any changes might affect students who currently attend Kennedy Middle School and Charter Viera School, which serve the bulk of seventh and eighth graders in Viera proper.

“It’s still all not firmed up,” board member Tina Descovich said. “There were a lot of options thrown out on the table. One of the many options is a middle school over there.”

Mullins is expected to present his report at the Oct. 9 School Board meeting. Meetings are open to the public and start at 5:30 p.m. The agenda can be viewed one week ahead of time at eagendatoc.brevardschools.org.

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