Representatives of the Orange County School Board and Orange County Board of County Commissioners have reached a tentative agreement (attached) that could pave the way towards the construction of a new relief high school in west Orange County. This agreement will be considered by both boards at separate public meetings April 22, 2014. The representatives attended mediation pursuant to the Florida Governmental Conflict Resolution Act to review various options on the location of a new high school that would provide relief to West Orange High School.
According to the terms of the tentative agreement, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) would forego placing a football stadium on the site it currently owns on County Road 535 near Winter Garden Vineland Road. Instead, the parties would enter into a joint use agreement to provide for the construction and management of the stadium on a portion of a 20-acre site currently owned by Orange County on Ficquette Road, about a mile south from the proposed high school site. The facility would be built by Orange County and would also be used to provide additional recreational opportunities to the residents of west Orange County, but would be maintained by OCPS. If agreed to, the parties would divide certain costs of construction and maintenance of the stadium.
OCPS would also construct the new high school with additional buffers and landscaping to further reduce any impact to the residents of the adjoining rural settlement communities. The tentative agreement also provides for the school board to add certain architectural features to the campus buildings. The school board has already adopted a resolution to work with Orange County to amend the existing siting ordinance and restrict the placement of high schools in areas designated as rural settlements.
The tentative agreement requires approval by each of the respective boards, which each will consider at separate public meetings April 22, 2014. If approved by both parties, the school board’s Special Exception application would undergo further public hearings that could potentially bring resolution to the existing litigation between the county and the school board.
Due to the quasi-judicial nature of the proceedings relating to the Special Exception application, members of the board of county commissioners will not be able to comment further on this matter at this time.
About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its citizens and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world famous theme parks, the nation’s second largest convention center, and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners including the Mayor who is elected countywide. For more information please visit www.OCFL.net or go to the Orange County facebook and twitter pages.