Proposed high school site near Windermere upsets residents

WINDERMERE, Fla. — Emotions were intense at an Orange County meeting about a proposed high school in Windermere.

One woman broke down into tears as she showed support for the school.

“I'm here to represent the children and all the people that cannot be here today.  I don't care where the high school goes,” said the woman.

Others bashed the Orange County School Board for spending $7 million on land along County Road 535 for the school.

“It's government stupidity at its finest.  I'm really sad,” resident Terry Stanley said.

Many of the 100 people who packed a gymnasium Tuesday night don't want a new school in a well-to-do section of Windermere.

The school was proposed to alleviate overcrowding at West Orange High School in Winter Garden 5 miles away.

Residents fear a new school would bring overcrowding to their roads and neighborhoods.

“That corner where Publix is is just going to be log jammed from 7 (p.m.) to 3 (p.m.) -- football games, cheerleading practice, everything,” resident Paul Franklett said.

Commissioner Scott Boyd moderated the meeting and helped answer questions.

Some people took jabs at him.

“We pay your salary.  So you need to listen to us,” resident Dede Hughes said.

The new school would need nearly 900 parking spaces and require three traffic lights on nearby streets, unsettling statistics for neighbors.

“Once it's built we can't take it away and that disappoints me,” said resident Jill Baker.