New Construction

Florida District to Open Four New Campuses This Fall

Orange County Public Schools, headquartered in Orlando, Fla., has announced that it will open four new campuses this fall. The new facilities include two high schools, one new elementary school, and a K–12 school for students with behavioral disorders. All four schools will host Sneak Peek events open to the public during the first week of August, before the beginning of the 2021–22 academic year.

The two high schools, Horizon High and Lake Buena Vista High, have a combined capacity of 5,550 seats, addressing overcrowding issues in the eighth-largest school district in the country. The Orange County Public School system is projected to have an enrollment of 200,000 students within the next decade.

Village Park Elementary was designed by Rhodes + Brito Architects and was built by Pirtle Construction. The project budget was $25.8 million, and it will relieve two other elementary schools in the district.

The Silver Pines Academy K–12 Learning Center, meanwhile, will have a student capacity of 280 and cover just short of 150,000 square feet. The project’s estimated budget was $47.6 million, while the architect of record was Harvard Jolly.

The four construction projects cost a total of $278 million, paid for by taxpayers, developers and property owners. The facilities were all built to the Green Globes environmental construction standards. Another new school, Water Spring Middle School, will temporarily open in one of the wings of Horizon High while its permanent campus is still under construction. OCPS records a total of 205 schools for the coming academic year.

Orange County Public Schools has announced plans to open 22 new schools over the next decade. The district has cited high population growth and overcrowding of existing facilities as the reason for the construction push. The plans call for two additional high schools (not including those mentioned above), four new middle schools, one new K–8 school, and 13 new elementary schools.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].