- October 14, 2020
HORIZON WEST – It’s no surprise Orange County Public Schools currently has four relief schools in the works in Horizon West, one of the nation’s fastest-growing areas.
One of those four schools, currently known as Site 49-E-W-4, is an elementary school located on 15 acres in Village H within the Storey Grove development off Avalon Road. It has a program capacity of 830 students and is intended to relieve Independence and Keene’s Crossing elementary schools.
To date, Independence has 1,022 enrolled students with a program capacity of 786, while Keene’s Crossing has 1,247 enrolled students and a capacity of 812.
According to a presentation shared at the 30% design community meeting held Oct. 11, construction of the campus is set to begin in 2018, with the opening planned for May 2019. The site plan shows the building will be two stories, and the site will include basketball courts, a tot lot, playground, two-acre field and parking lot with a capacity of 125 cars and, if needed, room for future portables.
“OCPS has a design standard that a place where portables could be located is identified before the school is built and utilities are put in, so that if portables are needed, it’s just a matter of hooking them up and we won’t have to rip up the ground to get the utilities over there,” said OCPS spokeswoman Lauren Roth. “So portable sites are always included on new plans but that doesn’t mean there will be portables on the site.”
However, with the rapid growth of Horizon West, it can be expected the new elementary school will have a need for portables eventually, Roth said.
OCPS is working with Orange County and developer Lennar Homes to widen the road located west of the school site and extend Water Springs Boulevard to Avalon Road. The entrance to the parking lot will be via Water Springs Boulevard.
“We continue to work with Orange County on that, but that’s really between the developer and Orange County on how fast they get the road infrastructure in,” said Pamela Gould, District 4 School Board member. “That road is going to get extended to just past the school, but that development is coming later.”
The road network also will need to accommodate a second school planned directly west of Site 49-E-W-4. The second school — a middle school set to open in 2023 — is intended to relieve a relief school for Bridgewater Middle School that nearly has completed the design process.
That initial relief school, Site 37-M-SW-4, also will open in 2019 along with a second elementary school, known as Site 25-E-SW-4, which will be relieving the Bay Lake and Sand Lake elementary schools.