Design is underway for another new Horizon West-area elementary school slated to open in roughly two years.
Orange County Public Schools officials held a virtual 30% design community meeting for parents and members of the community Thursday, Oct. 8, regarding the school, known currently as Site 114-E-W-4.
The elementary school will be located on a 13.5-acre site across the street from where relief high school Site 113-H-W-4 is under construction. The elementary school is located adjacent to the Lakeshore neighborhood, near the Seidel Road and State Road 429 interchange.
According to site plans, the school has a student capacity of 837 and will consist of a two-story classroom building. It is being designed by BRPH, an architecture and engineering-design firm that also designed other West Orange-area elementary schools — Castleview, Frangus, Ocoee and Spring Lake.
“This is the 14th iteration of the BRPH prototype,” said Francisco Alvarado, the firm’s Orlando regional director. “Since the first iteration, we’ve had several changes to the school — several improvements made to the prototype — which include LED energy-efficient lighting, fabric shade structure covering the tot lot, a two-way emergency radio communications system, Wi-Fi connectivity, technology enhancements and improvements, and we’ve added fans to the outdoor covered play area.”
The school spans a total of 94,339 square feet. The first floor comprises 63,121 square feet and includes a lobby and administration area, media center, dining/multipurpose room with stage area, art and music rooms, resource-planning areas and classrooms. At 31,208 square feet, the second floor will host mainly classrooms, with a couple of resource-planning areas.
There is parking available for 133 cars and queuing capabilities for up to 215 cars. The bus loop allows up to 17 buses to queue.
Also included are basketball courts, a 2,244-square-foot covered play area, a 45,000-square-foot multipurpose field, youth lot, tot lot and accommodation for 12 future portables.
Site 114-E-W-4 also is designed to meet Green Globes sustainable building standards. Such features include a low-impact stormwater design, high-efficiency chillers, light-colored roof, water-saving toilets and fixtures, and thermal-efficient windows. Additionally, each classroom will be equipped with a touch-panel TV.
Design should be complete by January 2021, with permitting and bidding to take place in the spring. Construction would span 11 months, lasting until May 2022. Move-in would begin in summer of 2022.
Parents’ main concerns were regarding traffic along Seidel Road and in the general area, as well as what the rezoning process would look like.
Jessma Lambert, OCPS director of facilities construction planning, said Site 114-E-W-4 will be relieving Summerlake and Water Spring elementary schools, but the rezoning process has not yet begun.
“We (also) have another site planned to open in 2024, which is what we call Site 47-E-W-4, which is the third relief school in that area to relieve again Water Spring Elementary,” Lambert said. “In a matter of a two-year span, we’ll have two relief schools coming on for the area. … We’ll know more when the rezoning process begins.”
Regarding concerns of traffic on Seidel Road due to the site’s proximity to the new high school, District 4 School Board Member Pam Gould pointed out that high schools and elementary schools run on different schedules where the pickup and drop-off times do not align.
“What I can tell you is that there are a lot of traffic improvements that are just getting ready to start construction along Seidel Road, particularly related to the high school,” said Rick Baldocchi, vice president of transportation/development for AVCON. “The intersection at Lakeshore Pointe Drive and Seidel Road is the main entrance into the high school for parent pick-up and drop-off. That intersection is completely being redone — there’s a traffic signal going in, the left-turn lanes into the school site are being increased or lengthened … the buses for the high school will come in Summerlake Groves Street, but on the other side of Seidel. … We still have to do a little more analysis on the driveways of the elementary school and work with Orange County on that operational analysis.”