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Giant development wins school approval

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  • | 11:22 p.m. September 11, 2016
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  • Charlotte–Lee–Collier
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Momentum at Babcock Ranch, one of the largest proposed master-planned communities on the west coast of Florida, continues to build. The latest: The Charlotte County School Board recently approved an application for a tuition-free public charter school inside the development, the Babcock Ranch Neighborhood School.

The public charter school will begin accepting enrollment applications this fall for the 2017-2018 school year, according to a statement. The school will be within walking distance of the earliest Babcock Ranch residents, the release adds.

BNS will be open to students in Kindergarten through 8th grade who qualify to attend a public school in Charlotte County. That includes out-of-district students allowed to request admission under Florida's new open enrollment law.

BNS is also the first of multiple schools that will be needed as the population grows in Babcock Ranch. A volunteer board of individuals from the community with experience in education, business and technology will oversee the school.

“Schools are the cornerstone of every successful community and we are pleased to be able to incorporate quality, community-based public education from the very beginning at Babcock Ranch,” says Al Dougherty, COO of the Communities Division of Kitson & Partners, the lead developer behind Babcock Ranch.

Straddling the border of Charlotte and Lee counties in Southwest Florida, Babcock Ranch will eventually be home to about 50,000 people, 19,500 homes and six million square feet of commercial space. Kitson & Partners has invested more than $175 million in the project and will spend another $125 million for the first phase through 2019, according to bond documents.


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