Proposed Orange County relief school fight turns into costly battle

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

A fight over a proposed relief school in West Orange County has turned into a costly legal battle.

The issue is about an overcrowded school and 65 acres that are zoned to stay rural.

School and county officials held a meeting Thursday, where they discussed the property at issue in the west Windermere rural settlement off State Road 535.

People who live there said they are worried about the potential traffic and noise a high school would bring.

Superintendent Barbara Jenkins and the county administrator were at the meeting surrounded by attorneys.

But West Orange High School parent Lisa Morrison is hoping for an agreement soon.

"When you have almost 4,000 kids in a school, there are kids who are not able to participate in everything. A lot of kids who can't play the sports they like to play. We have a lot of clubs and organizations, but not all of the kids can do that," Morrison said.

West Orange High School was designed for 2,800 students.

It now has 4,000, forcing the 9th grade into modular that are far away from their AP classes on the main campus.

By 2020, there could be 5,400 students zoned for the school.

So, the race is on to get a new school built.

The county bought the land for $7 million, but the county voted against allowing the school in a rural settlement after objections from residents.

Ed Misicka lives in a different rural settlement and is fighting to protect them all from high schools.

"A school on 65 acres, was our argument, is the same size as a Home Depot or a Super Walmart, plus," said Misicka.

The next step is to have two more meetings, and if there's no resolution by then, the issue will go to court.