District completes design of Bridgewater relief school

Orange County Public Schools showed parents the finished designs for Site 37-M-SW-4.

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  • | 1:58 a.m. October 26, 2017
  • Southwest Orange
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HORIZON WEST – The district shared the completed designs for the $37.8 million school designated to relieve the overcrowded Bridgewater Middle School during a community meeting held Oct. 18. 

The new relief school, which starts construction in January 2018, will open August 2019. Labeled Site 37-M-SW-4, the future middle school will have a capacity of 1,213 students. School officials hope site 37 will alleviate the severe crowding at Bridgewater, which has 2,256 students enrolled as of October 2017 with a capacity of 1,040.

According to the school’s site plan, site 37 will be located on 25.56 acres south of Tattant Boulevard, directly east of Berkshire Place Townhomes and west of Winter Garden Vineland Road.

At the meeting, school officials informed the roughly 15 parents in attendance that the school will have four buildings encompassing 172,000 square feet arranged around a central courtyard, as well as space for about 12 portables for potential future use.

The building to the north of the courtyard will have the administration office where the main entry will be located, student labs and an art room. The building to the east will be a multipurpose building that will hold the cafeteria, music suite with three rooms dedicated for band, choir and orchestra, and a covered dining area.

The building to the south will be a three-story classroom building for all the grades with 10-foot wide corridors and an administrative suite on each floor, and the building to the west will have the gymnasium.

The parking lot for parent drop-off and pick-up will have 174 parking spaces and be able to support a 232-car queue line. The school also will have two access points — one solely for buses and one for parents. Three bike racks will be included on the campus.

Parents at the meeting directed questions to school officials involving bike trails and vehicular traffic, because there will be no direct access for parents via Winter Garden Vineland Road (County Road 535). Parents will need to turn onto Lakeside Village Lane. 

Jessma Lambert, the district’s facilities director, said the district will conduct a traffic study once the school opens to see if more new crosswalks, traffic signals or stop signs are warranted to manage traffic. The other issue parents brought up regarded bike paths for those students who instead ride to school. OCPS officials said the district will work toward a designated bike route.

The district will be hosting a second presentation on the 100% design plans for parents who missed the Oct. 18 meeting. Another community meeting also will be held near the end of 2018 at the “40% construction update” meeting, where residents may voice concerns about construction traffic.


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