Growth puts squeeze on schools

As Pasco County Schools heads into another school year, crowded conditions are expected on several campuses within The Laker/Lutz News coverage area. District officials are projecting that Wesley Chapel’s Wiregrass Ranch High School will operate at 141 percent of its capacity, with an estimated 2,310 students in a school designed for 1,633. Connerton Elementary School, in Land O’ Lakes, … [Read more...]

Project needs outpace funding in Pasco County Schools

As Pasco County Schools heads into a new school year, the district faces a perennial issue: There’s not enough money to cover district construction and maintenance needs. “Our current debt is about $525 million,” Chris Williams, director of planning told Pasco County School Board members during a workshop last week. Pasco’s rapid growth continues to create demand for new or expanded schools, … [Read more...]

Request raises questions about sites for schools, parks

The Pasco County Planning Commission has recommended approval of a change that would make it easier for landowners along State Road 52, near Bellamy Brothers Boulevard, to pursue development. However, planning commissioners also are recommending that any development done in the area be accompanied by a map that identifies where future sites would be located for schools and parks. The … [Read more...]

School board eyes 104-acre site near Connected City

The Pasco County School Board has approved the acquisition of a 104-acre site near the Connected City area of Wesley Chapel. The school district anticipates there will a need for future schools as more residents move into Connected City, which includes Epperson Ranch and other future developments. The site is at the southeast corner of Curley and Kiefer roads, directly across the street … [Read more...]

Cypress Creek Town Center wants more retail, residential

The Pasco County Planning Commission has recommended approval of a request that would allow an increase in commercial square footage and more multifamily units on 490 acres at the northwest and southwest quadrants of State Road 56 and Interstate 75. Planning commissioners joined with Pasco County’s planning staff in recommending approval of the request to modify the master-planned unit … [Read more...]

Pasco County streamlines development review process

The Pasco County Planning Commission got a makeover but several of its newly appointed members will have familiar faces. The Pasco County Commission on July 10 approved an ordinance that revamps an existing two-step process for previewing land use and zoning applications. Commissioners disbanded a long-standing advisory board, known as the Development Review Committee, or DRC. That committee … [Read more...]

New and renovated schools planned

The Pasco County School Board received an overview last week on projects planned to construct, renovate, expand and repair schools across the district. They also heard a wrap-up on projects in progress or finished this year. The presentation, by Chris Williams, director of planning services and Olga Swinson, chief finance officer, came as the district prepares to vote on a final capital … [Read more...]

County seeks business park for future development

Pasco County wants to encourage more business parks and diversify the county’s job base. The county’s Office of Economic Growth is spearheading that effort by scouting for vacant land that can be made site-ready to attract developers on speculation. In keeping with that goal, county staff members introduced a proposal for the Vibrant Sun Business Park at a Jan. 11 meeting of the Development … [Read more...]

Pasco buys new high school site

The Pasco County School Board has approved paying $5 million for a new high school site, on the north side of the State Road 56 extension, west of Morris Bridge Road. The state road extension project is underway, and when it is completed, it will provide a new link between Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills. Appraisers hired by the school district valued the land at $6,520,000, and the seller … [Read more...]

Committee looking at ways to fund schools

The Pasco County School Board is seeking to nearly double impact fees charged to new residential construction to help foot the bill for new schools, but a committee studying the issue wants to know about other possible sources of funding before making a recommendation. There’s no doubt that Pasco County’s residential growth is generating increased enrollment, outpacing the school district’s … [Read more...]