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Dr. Joaquín García High School Opens in Palm Beach County, Florida

Dr. Joaquín García High School—the first new high school in Palm Beach County in 20 years—is now in session.

Located on a 46-acre site in western Lake Worth, Florida, the new campus currently has 1,600 students enrolled and is designed to accommodate the rapid population growth in central Palm Beach County.

The 281,000-square-foot high school includes two buildings and a secure courtyard for students and staff. The three-story academic building houses administration, a media center, classrooms, and lab spaces. An adjacent single-story performing arts center features an 855-seat auditorium and spaces to support music, dance, and visual arts programs. The south end of the arts building is anchored by the kitchen/dining facility with a food court and outdoor covered dining.

An onsite athletic complex features a 4,000-seat lighted football stadium with “Carolina blue” artificial turf, a press box, and fieldhouse/concessions building. Other athletic facilities include a lighted baseball and softball field, two practice fields, tennis and basketball courts, and the only sand volleyball court at a high school in Palm Beach County. A community entrance enables visitors to access the gymnasium, auditorium, and athletic fields without entering the main school facilities.

“The college-like campus is designed to provide students with convenient access to facilities for academics, athletics, and the arts,” said PGAL Principal Sam Ferreri. “It also integrates the latest security features and state-of-the-art technology.”

The school is named after Dr. Joaquín García, an LGBTQIA+ community leader, businessman, and educational advocate who died in 2021. It’s one of a handful of public schools nationwide named for LGBTQ+ people and the first school in Palm Beach County named after a Hispanic person. A founding member of the board of directors of Compass Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Lake Worth and the Palm Beaches, Garcia actively volunteered for the International AIDS Education Foundation and the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. He also co-founded Palm Beach County’s Hispanic Education Coalition and served as its chairman for nearly a dozen years. His contributions to education included encouraging the development of scholarship programs, advocating for dual-language learning, and supporting efforts to make the community’s schools more welcoming and inclusive.

PGAL designed Dr. Joaquín García High School in collaboration with SchenkelShultz Architecture.

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