Request to build new high school denied



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County leaders were debating whether to build a new high school in west Orange County, but ultimately voted 'no.'

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted 6-1 to deny the request to build the new school.

The lone vote in favor was from Commissioner Ted Edwards of District 5.

Some parents opposed a new school in their neighborhood.

Some of the opponents live on property that backs up directly on the site of the proposed school.

They said the school's a fine idea, but where they wanted to build it just wouldn't work.

As they've been for months, the two sides remained bitterly divided over something that in the abstract they agreed on: West Orange County needs a new high school to handle growth.

But where to put it had split them, one side in red against the proposed school project, and the other side in orange, saying there's no time for delays.

Supporters said a new 2,000-student school in West Orange County was essential, with West Orange High badly overcrowded.

The school board picked a 2-acre lot along Winter Garden Vineland Road.

Opponents said the proposed school, with an 890-car parking lot and all the traffic and noise that comes from a school of 2,000, would have destroyed the way of life they have in the rural settlement that sits adjacent to the property.

"There's going to be band practice, football games at all hours of the night going on at this school. The noise intrusion is going to be substantial. Giant stadium lights in the middle of the rural settlement. That is not consistent," Karen Consalo of Citizens United said.

It had been a long process and Tuesday's vote by commissioners was the last step.