Wiregrass Elementary School is set to open this fall in Wesley Chapel.
Construction is well under way on a new high school on Old Pasco Road, which will open initially as a high school and a middle school.
That campus is expected to open in 2017-2018.
Construction also has started on a new elementary school that’s also expected to open in 2017-2018 in Bexley Ranch, off State Road 54 in Land O’ Lakes.
Meanwhile, a major renovation project is planned for 2017-2018 at Land O’ Lakes High, on Land O’ Lakes Boulevard in Land O’ Lakes, said Chris Williams, director of planning for Pasco County Schools.
In addition to renovating the school, the project calls for adding a wing to increase the school’s capacity.
The district is still considering various options for where Land O’ Lakes High School’s students will be housed during its major renovation.
“Anytime you’re doing construction with students on campus, it gets more expensive. The project takes longer,” Williams said. “It’s harder to do.”
The school district continues to search for a high school site and an elementary site between Sunlake and Mitchell high schools, off of State Road 54.
As the district prepares to open new schools next year, it will begin holding boundary committee meetings in the fall, followed by parent meetings, and then eventually the Pasco County School Board, to determine the boundaries for the new schools.
The new high school is expected to affect the boundaries for Wiregrass Ranch, Wesley Chapel and potentially Sunlake high schools, Williams said.
The new middle school is expected to affect the boundaries for Weightman, John Long and potentially Rushe middle schools.
The new elementary in Bexley Ranch is expected to affect the boundaries for Oakstead and Odessa elementary schools. Meanwhile, the district may also consider shifting the boundaries between Oakstead and Lake Myrtle elementary schools, to provide additional relief to Oakstead and to help increase Myrtle’s enrollment, since it can accommodate more students, Williams said.
While the district needs new schools to provide a place for students to learn, the practice of drawing boundaries for them always sparks controversy. Passions run high, as parents outline the various problems they envision if their child is reassigned to a new school, or — in some cases — is not. Sometimes the complaints are about academic opportunities, but often they involve daycare or the ability to be involved in school activities.
Published July 27, 2016