Sunday, March 3

New high school coming to Tradition as population surges

We know the population is booming in the Tradition area of St. Lucie County, but what does that mean for our local schools?

Tradition DDD High School, which does not have an official name just yet and will open in August of 2025, is going to serve about 2,000 students across this growing area.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Education

“Crosstown [Parkway] will be extended all the way out here and will bring you right to the front door of Tradition DDD,” principal Todd Smith said while giving WPTV a tour of the construction site.

The roads aren’t even finished yet, but the excitement is growing for St. Lucie Public Schools’ first new high school in nearly 20 years.

“It’s gonna be a starting place where student embark on their journey. But more important, they are going to be inspired. They are going to be inspired to be successful,” Smith said.

Smith is picking out school colors and building academic programs to align with the community’s economic needs.

“If you drive down Tradition Parkway and you see all the hospitals, hotels coming up, and the restaurants, there’s a pipeline for our students to get gainful employment there. And also, look at the medical needs that our community needs,” Smith said.

“We are busting at the seams in our central and western areas,” Superintendent Dr. Jon Prince said.

Prince said the district is growing by about 1,500 students a year.

“Really West Palm Beach, Broward, a lot of those families are coming up here and living here because they can get so much more for so much less, while also getting quality public schools in the process,” Prince said.

The superintendent added that the high school, along with a K-8 that will now open a year earlier in 2026, will help the district stay ahead of the curve.

“We just knew we were going to have to anticipate with the level of growth we’re seeing, with the enrollment climbs we’re seeing. We had to make sure we moved that up a year or literally, it would be unsustainable with our current schools where they are to be able to manage that growth,” Prince said.

So while you may not be able to see much at the site just yet, they’re laying the foundation for a new future.

“No matter where you go, the supermarket, people are talking about the school. So it’s just the community. It will be a true educational community from the ground up,” Smith said.

There’s a lot more work to do, not only the construction, but really forming the school identity. In the new year, they’ll begin with naming committees and coming up with mascots, all to be decided before the school opens in August of 2025.

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