Boundaries recommended for Elementary B

A boundary committee has recommended boundaries for a new elementary school being built in Bexley, a new subdivision being built in Land O’ Lakes, off of State Road 54.

The committee has selected an option that would include Ballantrae, Suncoast Meadows, Suncoast Pointe, Hayman/Fuentes, Meadowbrook/Sierra Pines, and all of Bexley, which are east of the Suncoast Parkway.

The new elementary also would include Swan View Townhomes, Ivy Lake Estates and Toscano at Suncoast, which are west of the Suncoast Parkway.

Courtesy of Pasco County Schools This rendering depicts what the exterior view of a new elementary under construction in Bexley, will look like.

Courtesy of Pasco County Schools
This rendering depicts what the exterior view of a new elementary under construction in Bexley, will look like.

The proposed boundaries would reduce crowding at both Odessa and Oakstead elementary schools, and would provide additional students for Lake Myrtle Elementary.

Students that would be shifting from Oakstead to Lake Myrtle live in these areas: Morsani, Woodville Palms, Cambridge/Lake Linda, Oakstead Area South, Cypress Cove/Village on the Pond, Meadowview/Country Close and Foxwood/Lake Heron.

While the committee recommends the boundaries, the Pasco County School Board has the final word on where the lines should be drawn.

Elementary B is expected to open in the fall, for the 2017-2018 school year.

It will have a capacity of 878 students, and is expected to have 706 students.

Oakstead, which had 1,095 enrolled students is expected to have 765 students, under the proposed boundaries. Odessa, which had 1,000 students, is expected to have 780, and Lake Myrtle, which had 587 students, is expected to have 616.

A parent meeting has been scheduled for Nov. 1, from6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria at Oakstead Elementary,11925 Lake Patience Road.

At that meeting, staff for Pasco County Schools, will explain the proposed boundaries and will invite those attending to ask questions and provide feedback.

While the school district needs to draw boundaries for new schools, the issue is typically controversial. Some parents complain that they deliberately moved into the area because of the school they believed their child would attend. Others are happy with the school and don’t want their child’s education disruption. Potential issues with childcare, after-school activities and the parents’ ability to be involved at the school are other common complaints.

Dave Skanga, area superintendent for Central Pasco schools, said he understands that parents have concerns, especially about the unknown.

However, Skanga said, the district will do what it can to reduce parental concerns about having their children zoned to a different school.

He expects the principal of the new school to be named in November. He also noted that many of the teachers will be coming from schools whose students are being shifted into the new school, Skanga said.

“This is going to be a beautiful building,” Skanga said. It will be well equipped, too, he said. “It’s state-of-the-art when we open a new school.”

The school board is scheduled to hold its first public hearing on the proposed boundaries on Dec. 20 and its second public hearing on Jan. 17, when it is expected to make the final decision on the issue.

Published Oct. 19, 2016

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