New elementary school will emulate Quest Elementary


Students from all over Viera will be able to attend the new elementary school in south Viera.

Courtesy of Brevard Public Schools

Officials with Brevard County Schools shared details of a planned elementary school, located southwest of Quest Elementary in Viera, that is slated to open in August 2020 at a meeting on May 21 at Quest.

As part of a presentation to 100 people in the school’s cafeteria, Sue Hann, BPS’ assistant superintendent of facilities services, stated that the school will have energy efficiency measures, new security features, new golf cart access management and will be built to accommodate future classrooms that can be relocated.

“If you look at Quest Elementary School with some minor security modifications for the entry way and other things, (this) is basically what it’s going to look like,” said Brevard County School Board District 4 representative Matt Susin.

Susin added that the new school initially would not be filled to capacity.

“We’re looking for bringing in between 350 and about 450 kids to start it out and we’re going to build out possibly with growth,’’ Susin said. “So, you’re not going to start taking zones from all over the different places inside the Viera/Suntree area. We’re actually going to build it out according to growth and a possible choice option.’’

Stadium Parkway also will be extended to accommodate the new school, according to Hann.

One question as it relates to the new school that has yet to be answered is the question of student allocation as it relates to existing area schools.

“What we wanted to do is introduce a couple of new ideas with the new school,” Hann said. ”We looked at the traditional way of doing student assignment where we move boundaries around and we assign children to a school. But, we also looked at a new approach where we, for example, would consider the current boundaries for Quest and Manatee (Elementary) and just opening up those boundaries. Any parent within those areas could send their children to either Quest, Manatee or the new school. This is an idea.”

Hann added that the decisions in this regard would be made in a “very public way” and wouldn’t begin until the fall and would conclude in the spring.

Some parents reacted favorably to the approach school officials are taking in terms of soliciting feedback on which options work best.

“I think there’s a couple of interesting ideas,” said Brian Tarango, a parent of two daughters who attend Quest Elementary School. “It seems like they have a reasonable approach to get something. I think this is a good problem. We have a really good school that’s over capacity that we’re trying to get lower capacity and we’re building a brand new school.”

“Either way, we’ll have a choice,” said Loretta Gribble, a parent of two children at Quest who was pleased her children would get to stay at the school with either plan. “I’m glad they’re building one (a new school) now.”

The name of the school, along with its mascot and colors, also has not been decided. Officials say a school name will be addressed in early 2020, when a new school principal is hired.

“The School Board will hire the principal and will make the decision on the name,’’ Hann said. “But the principal leads the process. So, we want to get the principal on board and they will engage with the community.”

The Brevard County School Board also was  prepared to consider the construction project for the site at a May 28 meeting. Hann noted that a groundbreaking ceremony for the new school would be held sometime in the fall, likely in September.