As 2023 approaches, Pasco County Schools is working on projects to add two new schools and to expand an existing one.
The new construction projects involve Kirkland Ranch K-8, at 33137 Innovation Drive, in Wesley Chapel, and Angeline Academy of Innovation, at 8916 Angeline School Way, in Land O’ Lakes.
The expansion project involves Starkey Ranch K-8, at 12200 Lake Blanche Drive, in Odessa, where a classroom wing is being added.
The Pasco County School Board heard an update on the Kirkland Ranch K-8 project during its Dec. 13 meeting.
Peter Hepner, of Hepner Architects, gave the board an overview of the design.
The new K-8 school will be built on the east side of the Kirkland Academy campus.
Details, according to Hepner’s presentation, include play courts and a covered play area outdoors, as well as parking lots for staff and visitors and a drop-off area for students.
The first floor will have spaces for administration, prekindergarten, primary classrooms, and elementary art, music and skills labs.
The student dining area includes a stage and there will be outdoor dining, too.
The second floor includes primary and intermediate classrooms, a media center and a teacher planning area.
On the third floor, there will be middle school classrooms, art and music areas, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Center and science labs.
Creative Contractors is the construction manager for the Kirkland Ranch K-8 project.
During the Dec. 13 meeting, the school board approved a guaranteed maximum price for the Kirkland K-8 project at $38,388,098. That price includes the construction manager’s fee, plus the cost of the work.
The project’s notice to proceed was issued on Dec. 13, and the date for completion is set for June 7, 2024.
In addition to building a new K-8 school on the campus, which is off Curley Road in Wesley Chapel, the school board has entered into a partnership with Pepin Academies, which is planning to operate a charter school on the same campus.
The partnership is unique in the state, according to Pasco school officials.
When the arrangement was announced on Nov. 8, Ray Gadd, deputy superintendent, told the board: “This is an exciting partnership — a lot of learning ahead of us to figure out how to navigate some of the rules and regulations that the state puts on us, relative to our relationship, but really looking forward to it.”
While those projects are on the horizon in Wesley Chapel, there are other projects that are coming in Central Pasco.
Work continues on the Angeline Academy of Innovation in emerging community of Angeline, in Land O’ Lakes. The school is about 1 mile east of the Suncoast Parkway at exit 25 off Ridge Road.
The STEM magnet school is expected to open with grades six through 10, with plans to become a 6-12 school.
The four-story building — the tallest school in the Pasco district — is under construction near Moffitt Cancer Center’s planned campus.
Moffitt’s planned development is the centerpiece of Angeline, a massive development, which is expected to attract cancer researchers and life science companies from around the globe.
Angeline’s plans also call for an extensive trail network to promote wellness, the latest in internet connectivity and diverse housing products — from apartments to luxury homes — to provide something for everyone.
Angeline Academy of Innovation is scheduled to open in the fall of 2023. Representatives of the school district and Moffitt have long been engaged in discussions over potential partnerships.
In another action on Dec. 13, the school board approved a contract with the Williams Company Tampa for a guaranteed maximum price of $9,587,997, to cover the construction cost and construction manager fees for the addition of a classroom wing at Starkey Ranch K-8, in Odessa.
The work is expected to be substantially completed by Dec. 11, 2023.
When the school district opened Starkey Ranch K-8 in the fall of 2021, it knew that the development would continue to grow, Chris Williams, director of planning for the school district told The Laker/Lutz News in a previous interview.
But it turned out that in addition to the growth within Starkey Ranch, the magnet school also attracted students who had been attending private schools and charter schools — speeding up the need for expansion, Williams said.
Published December 28, 2022
Our high schools are so overcrowded. How about adding additional new schools along the 54 corridor to adapt to the increased growth?
Chris Williams says
As mentioned in the article, the Angeline Academy is a 6-12 school and so will help with the high school overcrowding in the 54 corridor. We also have a future high school site reserved in the Bexley Ranch North development as well as owning property in the Odessa area that we are exploring options with.
Mark Gugliuzza says
Are there any plans to expand schools in Land O Lakes, specifically in Connerton? The elementary school is already busting at the seems with classes nearing 28 students. Lennar is not slowing their building efforts.
The Connerton community plans outline a middle school next to the current elementary school however I have not read any plans on the Pasco County School website.
Chris Williams says
We added capacity to Land O’ Lakes High School when we renovated it a couple of years back. The new Angeline Academy is just to the west of Land O’ Lakes and so we anticipate that students from the Land O’ Lakes area will choice into this school which will help the overcrowding at Land O’ Lakes High and Pine View Middle schools. In addition, two new charter schools are anticipated to open in the Land O’ Lakes area in the next two years and this will have an impact on Connerton Elementary as well as the other area schools.
We do have land around Connerton Elementary for a future middle school and we will continue to evaluate our options and needs for that.