Once completed, both K-5 schools will have a student capacity of about 850.
| 4:32 p.m. May 9, 2017
METROWEST – The new relief school for MetroWest Elementary is quickly nearing completion, and the Orange County School Board announced the new name chosen for the school: Westpointe Elementary.
Westpointe, which was the more popular choice among the other options — Lake Vilma and MetroEast — will be constructed on the same site as MetroWest and have a student capacity of about 850 students, said Orange County Public Schools spokeswoman Lauren Roth.
The relief school is needed for MetroWest Elementary because, with 1,614 students currently enrolled and a 1,237 program capacity, it is about 377 students over capacity. The new relief school, slated to open Aug. 14, will bring the capacity for both schools to a total of only 1,694 because some buildings will be divided between both campuses and OCPS needs to abide by a new rule that limits student capacity to 850 per elementary school, explained Roth. However, enrollment will not be capped.
The project, which includes the construction of Westpointe Elementary and renovations to MetroWest Elementary, has a combined 25 acres. Roth said the new MetroWest Elementary bus loop, pick-up/drop-off loop and staff parking are complete, as well as the new MetroWest Elementary Building 5 media center, which is already in use.
Roth also added that Westpointe’s entry driveway and bus loop have been completed, and the new classroom/administration/dining Building 100 for Westpointe Elementary is nearing completion.
The work that remains to be completed includes some renovations, the Westpointe staff parking, the MetroWest Elementary play field and the removal of portables.
Patricia Smith has been hired as Westpointe’s principal and is in charge of hiring all school faculty.
During the April 25 meeting, School Board members also approved technical and targeted area rezonings for several elementary, middle and public schools.
Among the authorized rezonings was a technical rezoning involving Independence, Bay Lake and Sunset Park elementary schools. A technical rezoning essentially moves land from one school’s zone to another school zone.
Technical rezonings do not affect students, because they are conducted to account for projected population growth on currently vacant land that may or may not see residential development.
The purpose of such zonings, Roth said, is to ensure that if or when the development is initiated and more students come in, they will be zoned to a school that either has space for them or has a relief school planned in the near future.
The latter was the case for the technical rezoning approved by board members on April 25, which zoned land previously belonging to both the Bay Lake and Sunset Park Elementary School to Independence Elementary School.
“We did this to move any future growth to Independence (Elementary School), which will be relieved in the future,” School Enrollment Director Carol McGowin said.
Independence Elementary, which has a program capacity of 786 students, currently has 816 students enrolled.