FORECAST 2024: OCPS opening another school in Horizon West

The new elementary school will provide relief from overcrowding at Water Spring Elementary School.

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As the Horizon West community continues to expand its housing development footprint, the ever-present need for more school facilities continues as well. Nearly every year, at least one new Orange County Public Schools campus is built — and 2024 will be no exception.

Site 47-E-W-4 is the latest school under construction for more than 800 students. This still-unnamed school in Horizon West/Winter Garden will be located on Atwater Bay Drive.

The new school will be located north of Water Spring Elementary School in the Waterleigh community.

It will draw students from the Waterleigh subdivision who currently are attending Water Spring Elementary. Water Spring was built with a capacity for 725 students and has an enrollment of 1,284; it is at 171% capacity.

The relief school will be the first to use the latest prototype design.

Pam Gould, OCPS School Board Member representing District 4, is happy to see another relief school in her ever-expanding district.

“The relief school for Water Spring will be the 15th new school I have been able to advance over my tenure on the School Board to accommodate all of our new neighbors,” Gould said. “It has been an honor ensuring that OCPS has been able to build schools for each new community so they are truly neighborhood schools. The new prototype was designed with community and staff input. I am excited to see it open and in operation.”

The school, designed by SchenkelShultz, has an adopted budget of $45.0 million. The school’s construction is set to be completed in June. The school, encompassing a gross floor area of 97,941 square feet on a 15-acre site, is expected to have a student capacity of 837.

Amenities at the new school will include a multipurpose/cafeteria, kitchen, media center, art and music labs, science labs, computer labs, multipurpose labs, classrooms, covered play area, hard courts, playgrounds, covered walkways, administration office, enhanced classroom technology with new computers and interactive touch-screen panels, and a secure campus with one public entrance.

According to OCPS officials, a principal will be assigned to the sometime this month; and then OCPS will begin the process of filling the school staff positions and determining the school mascot and colors.


Orange County Public Schools is opening three new schools for the 2024-25 school year.

Besides the elementary school in Horizon West, OCPS is in the middle of two other public-school construction projects: a high school is being built in the southeast area of the county, on Dowden Road, Orlando; and a middle school is under construction in the south Lake Nona area.

OCPS is replacing two of its six technical colleges as well —Orange Technical College – West Campus and OTC – East Campus.

The West Campus being built on Ocoee-Apopka Road, Ocoee, replaces the old campus that has educated students on Story Road in Winter Garden since 1974.

Starting this fall, Windermere High School students and fans will finally be able to cheer on their Wolverines in their own stadium on the WHS campus. Football games have been played in the school’s off-campus stadium down the road from the campus at Deputy Scott Pine Community Park since the school opened in 2017.


OCPS has planned a comprehensive renovation at Lakeview Middle School, 1200 W. Bay St., Winter Garden. It will include advanced classroom technology, system replacements and various other improvements campuswide. The work is expected to be finished in March 2026

The next new school OCPS has planned for construction in West Orange County is Site 126-E-4, which will open for the 2026-27 school year. This elementary school also will help relieve overcrowding at Water Spring Elementary.


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