HORIZON WEST — Orange County Public Schools officials have announced the groundbreaking of the relief school for West Orange High School.
Officials scheduled the groundbreaking to begin at 4 p.m. at the school site, with West Orange Country Club hosting a 5 p.m. reception and then a 6 p.m. 60% design meeting for the school, all Sept. 24.
OCPS staff has encouraged families and children to attend, especially considering a legacy piece of art they can have a hand in before it is on display in the new high school when complete.
The 60% design meeting will be a followup to the community meeting Aug. 12 at West Orange High School, where SchenkelShultz Architecture partner Dave Torbert reviewed the site layout and relevant statistics, such as a 2,776-student capacity, a parking lot with 860 spaces capable of stacking 557 cars and 85 buses and the property’s size of 332,982 square feet — about 6.64 acres.
Although Eileen Fernandez — associate general counsel for OCPS — said the legal agreement between Orange County and OCPS prevents changes to most aspects of the school, some could change.
Torbert said the color scheme in particular had not been decided then, but the architecture style must resemble that of SunRidge Middle School in Winter Garden.
“On the front of the school, we have three access points to get into the school,” he said. “On the north end, which is the main access point where most of the traffic will come in, the plans are that will be a lighted intersection.”
Officials said they would see what they could do about parents’ concerns of splitting rising seniors from their siblings for the first year of the relief school. Seniors otherwise rezoned for the relief school would remain in the West Orange High School Class of 2018, based on a past precedent of a vast majority of rezoned OCPS seniors preferring to stay in their graduating class. The rezoning of student areas would occur sometime in spring 2016, with some relocation transfers but no athletic transfers for sports that the new school might not be able to offer.
OCPS policy dictates naming a principal and drawing school zones before the school receives its name. Officials said naming should occur sometime in December 2016 or January 2017. Torbert said the project has been in the design phase since May. Construction should begin in earnest by October and last until August 2017 — about 19 months — with the ability for staff to move in around June 2017, he said.
“All indications are that is going according to schedule,” he said.
IF YOU GO
RELIEF HIGH SCHOOL GROUNDBREAKING
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 24. The groundbreaking will occur at 4 p.m. A reception will follow at
5 p.m. at West Orange Country Club, 3300 West Orange Country Club Drive, Winter Garden. The community 60% design meeting will follow the reception.
WHERE: Relief High School Site, 5505 Winter Garden-Vineland Road.