Wilson hosts Town Hall meeting in Horizon West

The biggest news coming from the community meeting is Windermere High School likely will have a stadium built on its campus by this fall.

  • Southwest Orange
  • News
  • Share

Horizon West residents had the chance to gather information and ask questions about their community at a Town Hall meeting held Wednesday, March 22, at Windermere High School and hosted by Orange County District 1 Commissioner Nicole Wilson. Guest speakers represented county staff, including fire rescue, public works, parks and recreation and the planning division; Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Library System and School Board.

During a Q&A session at the end of the meeting, residents asked about street racing, crosswalks, future park surveys and other issues.

Wilson urged residents to reach out to her with questions and concerns at [email protected].

“I am driven every day by my contact with my residents,” she said. “We rely so much on hearing from you. Orange County is large and diverse and beautiful.”


Matt Suedmeyer, manager of the Parks and Recreation Division, shared the latest information on upcoming parks in Horizon West. Six currently are in the design or construction phase. The 6.5-acre Taborfield Neighborhood Park will open in the fall. Summerlake Park, at 5 acres in size, is close to the construction phase and will open in late 2023 or early 2024. The Horizon West Regional Park is in design, and the more-than-215-acre park will open in late 2024 (Phase 1A) and mid-2025 (Phase 1B).

The Bentonshire Neighborhood Park design is in progress, with construction to begin sometime in the 2023-24 fiscal year and the opening planned for late 2024 or early 2025. Construction on Watermark Neighborhood Park should commence in Fiscal Year 2023-24, and it should open the following year. Construction on Waterleigh North Neighborhood Park should take place in 2024-25.

Future parks will be planned and designed as neighborhoods are built, Suedmeyer said. In the works are Lake Cawood Park, tentatively set to open in 2027; Silverleaf Park, set to open in 2028; Lakeview Pointe Park, opening date to be determined; Waterleigh Park South, opening planned for 2027; and Village I Park No. 1 and 2, to be determined.

He also discussed the Horizon West Trail Network and said the plan to create a loop that is connected throughout the planned community’s villages. It eventually will travel north to Stoneybrook Parkway and then to Winter Garden Vineland Road to Dillard Street, ultimately connecting to the West Orange Trail, he said.


Danielle King, chief branch officer for the Orange County Library System, shared her excitement regarding the library system’s 100th anniversary and the new Horizon West branch library coming to the area. OCLS signed a ground lease with Orange County in July.

A community meeting was held Monday, March 27, and attendees could see site development and floor plans, as well as a rendering of what the new library will look like. The 11-acre campus will include the 20,000-square-foot library building, outdoor area and future recreation center.

King said the library system went fine-free in October and started offering free Wi-Fi hotspots in January. It recently received a $100,000 grant from Sorosis Women’s Club to start a book mobile, which has been done since the 1970s.


Horizon West is getting two fire stations, said Kimberly Buffkin, division chief for Orange County Fire Rescue. Station 44 will be at 14230 Reams Road, near Summerlake Park Road, and Station 48 will be at Lake Ingram and Avalon roads.

Station 44 currently is operating out of a temporary station at Orlando Health Horizon West Hospital. When its permanent facility is finished this summer, it will move out and Station 48 will temporarily move in until its permanent building is constructed.


Pam Gould, District 4 Orange County School Board member, said Orange County Public Schools is looking for bus drivers and teachers for the fourth-largest district in Florida and the eighth largest in the United States. OCPS has 208,166 students and 24,294 employees, Gould said.

OCPS has 55,491 students at technical college campuses as well as 22 high schools and 40 middle schools. Magnet programs are integrated into 10 elementary schools, seven middle schools and 21 high schools; and there are international baccalaureate magnet programs in six middle schools and five high schools.

Water Spring Middle School will open on its own campus in the fall. A 10-year school construction timeline indicates three more elementary schools are planned to open in Horizon West in 2024, 2027 and 2029; one middle school is planned to open in 2030.


Blanche Hardy, of the county’s transportation planning team, shared information about all the road projects taking place in Horizon West: Tiny Road, Ficquette Road, Reams Road, Schofield Road and Hartzog Road.

Schofield Road will serve as a connection to the Central Florida Expressway Authority’s Lake/Orange Connector.

Hartzog Road will be extended from County Road 545 to Western Way. A two- and four-lane road will be constructed to make the connection.

Tiny Road is a Complete Street project from Bridgewater Elementary School to Tilden Road and will fix road geometry, evaluate three roundabouts and extend a multipurpose path to the future Horizon West Regional Trail. Study completion is anticipated in late 2023.

Reams Road work will take place between Taborfield Avenue and Summerlake Park Boulevard. The design should be completed this summer, with construction anticipated to start in 2026.

Ficquette Road work will run from Inglenook Drive to Summerlake Park Boulevard. Design completion is expected in May, and construction should start in late 2024 or early 2025.

The largest project is County Road 545/Avalon Road, which is divided into multiple projects: the North Segment, Village H, Village I including Flemings road, Town Center including New Independence Parkway and South Segment.

The North Segment will be widened to four lanes from Florida’s Turnpike to State Road 50. The anticipation design completion is in June, and construction is anticipated from 2024 to 2026.

In the Town Center, C.R. 545 and New Independence Parkway will be widened to four lanes. No construction timeline was provided.

In Village H, C.R. 545 has been widened to four lanes from south of Hartzog Road to Schofield Road.

In Village I, C.R. 545 will be widened to four lanes from “New” Hartzog Road to north of Water Springs Boulevard and includes the widening of Flemings Road. This project is in various degrees of design, with construction to begin on three segments in late 2023 or early 2024.

The C.R. 545 South project involves the four-lane widening from U.S. 192 to “New” Hartzog Road. The study is expected to be completed next month.


Humberto Castillero with the county’s traffic engineering department outlined the traffic signal projects in Horizon West. Three are in the design phase, four are in the construction phase, and six are now operational.

A preliminary improvements plan in Lakeside Village includes roundabouts, a high-visibility crosswalk or speed table and signs, median islands or chicanes and street trees, lane elimination, speed cushions and speed feedback signs. Short-term solutions will be handed in Fiscal Year 2023-24, and the roundabout design and construction will take place in FY 2024-27.

Speed-limit reductions are planned on Porter Road from Summerlake Park Boulevard to Key West Dove Street (from 30 to 25 mph), McKinnon Road from West Lake Butler Road to Windermere Road (from 45 to 35 mph), and Lake Butler Boulevard from Clarice Court to the county limits (from 45 to 35 mph).

Hamlin Groves Trail is getting a midblock pedestrian crossing, intersection improvements and traffic calming devices. The study will begin this spring.

Roundabout feasibility analysis study has been completed for Summerlake Park Boulevard and Seidel Road, a safety and access management study was completed on Seidel from Avalon to Summerlake Park Boulevard, and the design is underway for a pedestrian hybrid beacon at Village Lake Road north of Silverlake Park Drive.


Latest News