Viera Charter School broke ground on a new middle school Nov. 7. The school expansion will include a new gymnasium, running track, and space for baseball and soccer fields, and much more. The new middle school building and renovations to the existing building will allow enrollment to increase from 1,050 to 1,600 students.

"We are delighted to be able to serve families who are left on the waiting list each year," said Robert Jordan, the chairman of the Viera Charter School Board. He headlined a ceremony comprised of school and community leaders —  accented with performances by school musicians, chorus members and cheerleaders —  and then hopped aboard a large heavy backhoe and gouged out the first yard of earth.

The school holds a lottery each year for available slots. Registration for the lottery for school-year 2020 slots opened Jan. 1. With a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and math, the kindergarten through eighth-grade charter school is a tuition-free public school of choice open to Brevard  County residents.

The school expansion is an asset to the Viera community, The Viera Company president Todd Pokrywa told the crowd, which was seated on the recently purchased 4.6 acres adjacent to the existing school at 6206 Breslay Drive in Viera.

"It’s our pleasure to partner with Viera Charter School in providing access to excellent educational opportunities for our residents. We are a growing community and this expansion is key to our needs," Pokrywa said.

The Viera Company helped the school pay for an additional road that will serve the school complex.

"The presence of a middle school in Viera and a strong sports program are very important to the community," Cady said.

The new 43,000 square-foot two-story building will include a 10,000-square-foot gym with bleacher seating for 650.

"We chose this school for our kids because it’s the best choice: a uniform-only school, and the only middle school in Viera," Laleh Castano said. "It has a private school feel, but it follows the stringent public schools standards. The academics are well put together, and it offers many different clubs, sports and performing arts. Traditional schools don’t start offering sports until middle school, and then only on a limited basis in grades seven and eight. Viera Charter middle school starts in grade six."