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2/13/23 - Education

Osceola district starts work on new Sunbridge school

The School District of Osceola County has kicked off construction of a campus in a growing part of the region.

District officials helped kick off construction of a new 145,250-square-foot K-8 school for 1,400 students in the Sunbridge master-planned community alongside developer Tavistock Development Co. on Feb. 13. The school will be the first in the 27,000-acre proposed development that spans Orange and Osceola counties.

Why this matters: New schools create jobs and opportunities for contractors. They can often signal to areas of growing population tied to new residential development.

Debra Pace, the superintendent of the district, told Orlando Business Journal that the new $54.35 million complex is important because of population growth in the county.

“As you can see around, the east side of the county is growing at a rapid pace and we have schools that are bursting at the seams, so we will look forward to opening the Sunbridge school in August of 2024 to provide some relief, but also some tremendous educational program for not only the students, but the families,” Pace said.

A total of 150 staff will be hired when the school opens. Zyscovich LLC is the architect, while Gilbane Building Co. is the general contractor.

Clint Beaty, senior vice president of operations for Tavistock Development Co., said he expects the school’s presence to draw more residents to the area. The Weslyn Park neighborhood, which the school serves, will feature 577 homes at build out of its first phase.

“Having a really quality school is key to having a top notch community, so we’re very vested in getting this school off the ground, open in 2024 and helping Debra Pace develop programs for the students and teachers,” Beaty said.

He added that between Orange and Osceola county sides of the development, there likely will be additional schools on each county’s portion as the development continues to grow.

The new school comes as Osceola County has seen population growth over the past decade, from 268,685 residents in 2010 to 388,656 in 2020.

For the full article, visit the Orlando Business Journal online.

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