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Officials move closer to agreement on west Orange County relief high school

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - County commissioners and school board members are getting closer to agreeing on plans for a west Orange County relief high school.

A new tentative agreement focuses on the original planned site on County Road 535 near Windermere.

For months, school board members have fought with county commissioners over the land, which many residents don't want used to build a large high school.

But now a tentative agreement has been reached and it would allow the school district to build the new high school.

"I didn't mind it coming anyway. It didn't matter to me too much," nearby resident Cheryl Brandon said.

But several others are opposed to the school being built and believe it will bring too much traffic to the area.

"I think the school won't be appropriate for the people who live here," resident Awadhesh Sinha said.

When commissioners rejected the proposal to build the school on the land, the district took legal action and sued. Through a mediator, both sides were able to come to the new agreement.

The terms of the agreement include special lighting at the school, a concrete wall around certain parts of the campus and quieter school bells. The agreement also states that the school's football stadium would be built separately from the main campus, roughly a mile away.

The facade of the school would be designed to look appealing like nearby Sunridge Middle School. The district also agreed to cap enrollment at the new school at 3,000 students.

Both the school board and county commission are expected to vote on the agreement on April 27. If approved, the relief high school could opened in 2017.