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...]

Browning talks school safety, other issues

More than a year since the Parkland school shooting claimed the lives of 17 students and faculty members, ensuring school safety remains a forefront priority for Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning. Browning discussed that, and a number of other school issues, as the featured guest speaker at the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce March breakfast meeting at the Pasco-Hernando … [Read more...]

Study continues on Wesley Chapel congestion

The Metropolitan Planning Organization heard a report about the Wesley Chapel Roadway Connection project — along with pros and cons on various aspects of potential roadway connections during the board’s Dec. 13 meeting. The presentation was for information only, with no action taken by the board. Meghan McKinney, of the AECOM organization, has been collaborating with the MPO to conduct … [Read more...]

This fair was a showcase of ideas — turned into inventions

Students at John Long Middle School recently transformed the school’s cafeteria and gymnasium into a venue where students showed off inventions they created, based on their ideas. The school’s Maker Mania community night was inspired by the concept of Maker Faire, an international movement which encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to produce something unique of their own. John … [Read more...]

Wesley Chapel schools earn national PTA distinction

Wesley Chapel’s Double Branch Elementary School and Dr. John Long Middle School each have been named a 2018-2020 National PTA School of Excellence. The National PTA organization has a program with specific criteria, allowing schools around the country to be acknowledged for their service to students. The year-long process includes choosing one of three areas of focus: education, health and … [Read more...]

Gearing up for Cypress Creek Middle School

A new middle school is expected to open next to Cypress Creek Middle High School, allowing the existing school to focus on high school only. The new middle school will accommodate 1,675 students on a 15-acre site, just north of the current school, which opened in August at 8701 Old Pasco Road, for students in grades six through 11. The estimated construction budget is $43.5 … [Read more...]

Girl Scouts rejuvenate Karina’s Garden

Step into the garden behind the administrative offices of Sunrise of Pasco, in Dade City, and you’ll find a place where flowers, plants, butterflies and statuary offer a place of repose and refreshment. You’ve arrived at Karina’s Garden. The garden initially was established in 2008 to honor Karina Abdul, a former shelter director for Sunrise of Pasco who died unexpectedly at the age of … [Read more...]

Changes afoot, as school bells ring in a new year

School bells are summoning students back to classes in Hillsborough and Pasco counties — and some students will be attending classes on entirely new campuses. Sunlake Academy of Math and Science, a new public charter school in Hillsborough County, begins its inaugural school year on Aug. 10. It is located at 18681 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Lutz. Meanwhile, Pasco County is opening Bexley … [Read more...]

Youth track club reaches nationals

One local youth track club has reached the national stage — gearing up to compete against some of the sport’s best. Speed Starz Track Club recently qualified for the 21st Annual AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) Club Championships, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The Wesley Chapel-based club is sending five athletes, ranging in age from 13 to 17, for its first appearance in … [Read more...]

School construction needs outpace funding

The Pasco County School Board has begun exploring the idea of asking voters to support a half-penny sales tax to help pay for school construction. During a June 20 workshop on the district’s capital needs, School Board member Cynthia Armstrong asked staff to come back with a projection of how much the half-penny tax would generate in 10 years and a list detailing the types of projects the tax … [Read more...]