Where didja go Broncos? New school relocates students, faculty

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Manel Cedeno

This Fall, DJGHS will open its doors to new faculty and students some coming from Central.

Manel Cedeno, Staff Writer

In August, many Central students will find themselves at a new campus no longer being Broncos but rather Bulldogs. Dr. Joaquin Garcia High School will be the first new high school in Palm Beach County in 16 years. The campus located off of Lyons Road in Lake Worth was built to alleviate the overcrowding in other District schools.

“When walking in the hallways, overcrowding is very inconvenient because it leads to many people bumping into each other,” expressed junior Santiago Castelbelanco. “Overcrowding makes it difficult to obtain lunch since the lunch lines get extremely packed.” 

DJGHS will be the first high school named after a Hispanic person in all of Palm Beach County. The school was named in honor of the late Garcia, a former medical doctor, whose resume includes co-ownership of a veterinarian clinic, founder of the Hispanic Education Coalition of Palm Beach County, and a champion of LGBTQIA+ rights. Dr. Garcia, an advocate for educational and dual language programs in Palm Beach County, passed away in 2021 at the age of 65. 

The school is still under construction and will house 2500 students with around 100 classrooms. DJGHS will move students from surrounding schools like Wellington, Central, and Park Vista. 

Because DJGHS will move a number of these students, overcrowding problems should be resolved. For some that are moving, there are mixed emotions.

“I will miss the athletic community [which] provides a lot of opportunities for college. Our athletic program is also flexible when it comes to schoolwork, so I am able to get my work done and still play,” said sophomore Skylar Young who is moving to DJGHS. “[But the school] is built up very nice.” 

The  281,000 square foot school will sit on a 46 acre site. The campus will consist of two buildings, with the main building being three stories tall. The school will have everything other Palm Beach County schools have including a performing arts center, athletic fields, and a gym, but it will be the only school in the district to have a sand volleyball court. The school will also feature a white and blue color scheme, and the athletic teams will play as the Bulldogs. 

DJGHS will also offer many academic programs that would make the school more desirable. They will offer AICE, AP, and dual enrollment, but it will also offer programs that are not offered in other schools. These programs include Army JROTC, a medical sciences academy, and a business and technology academy as of now. 

Not only will some students be leaving Central, but some teachers will be leaving the Bronco family as well. Mr. and Ms. Salemme, Mr. Elder, and Ms. Valentin-Leon will be trading in their Bronco colors for Bulldog blue.

“I’m going to miss the students, but I know that I will have the opportunity to open a high school,” explained Ms. Salemme. “I thought it would be fun to open a brand new school. I know everyone who has opened schools like Park Vista and I wanted to get the chance to open one too.”

The school will officially open in August, 2023, with only freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. This will allow the incoming graduating class of 2024 to stay with their home school.