ORLANDO, Fla. — People living in Lake Nona’s Eagle Creek community are upset about proposed plans to rezone their neighborhood to a new middle school.
Eagle Creek is directly across the street from Lake Nona Middle School, but proposals on the table would have students in the community go farther away to a new school.
Residents say the plans don’t make sense.
For Eagle Creek resident Jeffrey Banks, part of what he likes is a sense of community tied to his children’s school.
“We’ve been very happy with the elementary school for our kids, there’s a great community feel,” he said.
It’s one of the reasons he bought a home here and he hopes to continue that at nearby Lake Nona Middle School, where he’s currently zoned.
But with growth in the area, Orange County Public Schools is working on a relief school on land around a mile and a half from Lake Nona Middle.
Under both proposed options, the community would be rezoned for the new relief school.
Parents said they don’t like the idea of students having to go past the closer school to one farther away.
“I can’t imagine why they would create a plan that would take the kids literally live the closest to the existing school and make them have to drive past that school or bus past that to a new school,” Banks said.
School district officials said this is a tough rezoning. They said Eagle Creek students would have to cross Narcoossee Road for either school, while students in neighborhoods northwest of Lake Nona Middle School don’t have to cross the busy road if they stay zoned for Lake Nona Middle.
The district said if Eagle Creek also stays zoned at Lake Nona Middle, the new school would be half full when it opens in 2024 and wouldn’t provide any relief.
Still parents feel this isn’t ideal and are hoping other options can be considered before these plans are approved.
“This affects all of our kids,” Banks said. “It affects all of our families, it affects the community that we’ve spent years building.”
A couple of public hearings are set to deal with this issue, one scheduled for next week.
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