New Osceola County high school raises concerns about traffic, rezoning

By Stephanie Bechara, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, November 27, 2017, 9:01 PM EST

Osceola County is getting a brand new high school, and that means thousands of students will be changing schools because of a redistricting plan that was recently approved.

  • New Osceola County high school to alleviate overcrowding
  • Some residents concerned about traffic from school areas
  • Nearly 4,000 students will be affected by the rezoning 

Some residents aren’t really concerned about the rezoning but more about the traffic it may bring.

While St. Cloud resident Toni Jones doesn’t live near the new school that will be opening in August on Boggy Creek Road, she knows what it’s like to live near a school.

“I live so close to St. Cloud High School, and every day I see the dance of the vehicles that come to drop off and pick up children,” she added.

Jones believes Boggy Creek needs to be widened to support the expected increase in traffic.

“The school board is in charge of what goes on in the school — the academics. But it is the community that pays for the improvements and also lives with the problems,” Jones said.

While some are worried about the implications the new school may bring, the school district said Toho High will alleviate overcrowding, especially now with the influx of students coming from Puerto Rico.

The schools that are being rezoned are Gateway High, Harmony High, Osceola High and St. Cloud High.

Nearly 4,000 students will be affected by the rezoning. However students can apply to remain at their home school — through the school choice program.

“I feel very confident ... even though the redistricting process, particularly for high schools, can be sensitive,” said Debra Pace, the superintendent for the school district. “We have strong allegiances to our former schools and our mascots, and our colors and all those types of things. That choice is going to allow us to accommodate most student and parent requests.”

Jones said she wants to help be part of the solution.

“As parents, if there’s any chance your child is going to be going to this new school, you need to get involved now” she said.

This is the first time in 10 years that Osceola County is building a brand new high school.