• Renderings show new layout for Wheatley Elementary School


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Wheatley Elementary School was forced to close its doors last year. A newly rebuilt school is set to open by the end of next school year.

    The Orange County School District closed the school after six decades after a series of Channel 9 investigations prompted the demolition and reconstruction of the school to be moved up.

    Rodent droppings, termites and rust were discovered throughout the building, which workers said could have been causing faculty and students to get sick.

    On Monday, parents whose children attend Wheatley and community members who attended the school got their first look at the plans for their school.

    "I've lived here for quite a while and seen all the other schools improved and changed, and so when is our time and our time is now," said former student Freddie Filmore.

    Filmore said the school hadn't changed much since he attended in the 1950s.

    The new 40-classroom building will have a media center and computer lab, and will keep the current gymnasium.

    "That's one of the blessings of when you rebuild a current facility -- you get to keep anything additional they already have," said Orange County school board member Christine Moore.

    In addition to upgrading the technology, the new school will feature a new drop-off area for parents, making the area safer for students.

    The old school is set to be demolished in a few weeks.

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