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Land O'Lakes High students will remain on campus during renovations

Land O'Lakes High grads at a commencement ceremony at the Sun Dome. Pasco County officials have decided against an idea to temporarily locate the school to the campus of a new school under construction while Land O'Lakes is being renovated. Officials and parents said they did not want to disrupt the school. [AUSTIN ANTHONY   |   Times]

Land O'Lakes High grads at a commencement ceremony at the Sun Dome. Pasco County officials have decided against an idea to temporarily locate the school to the campus of a new school under construction while Land O'Lakes is being renovated. Officials and parents said they did not want to disrupt the school. [AUSTIN ANTHONY | Times]

LAND O'LAKES — Land O'Lakes High School parents who did not want to see their children's education disrupted during a major school renovation project are getting what they wanted.

Superintendent Kurt Browning announced Tuesday that Land O'Lakes High students will remain together on the school campus during the project, which will be extended from one year to two, rather than move them elsewhere. The decision will increase the construction cost.

"To me and the district staff, it was worth the additional dollars to keep the community together and also provide the relief to Wiregrass Ranch High School," Browning told the School Board.

Initially, the superintendent had leaned toward relocating Land O'Lakes students and teachers to High School GGG, which is under construction on Old Pasco Road and set to open in 2017. Another option, which staff dismissed, was to have Land O'Lakes High share the Sunlake High campus on split shifts.

The district's latest enrollment growth convinced Browning and key school leaders that the GGG plan could not work.

Browning had promised Wiregrass Ranch families that they would get off their 10-period day, which was in place to ease crowding, as soon as GGG opened. The school grew by more than 200 students, beyond its expected increase, by the first day of classes this fall.

Moving Land O'Lakes to GGG would solve one problem, but exacerbate another, Browning said. Wiregrass Ranch cannot handle another portable, and it needs relief, he said.

School Board Chairwoman Joanne Hurley said she was glad the district had made its decision early, so contractors can present their approaches as they make presentations to a selection committee.

Browning added that the work done at Land O'Lakes High will give the district a preview of how future renovations can take place at Zephyrhills and Hudson high schools, which are next in line for overhauls.

Contact Jeffrey S. Solochek at (813) 909-4614 or jsolochek@tampabay.com. Follow @jeffsolochek.

Land O'Lakes High students will remain on campus during renovations 08/18/16 [Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2016 4:21pm]
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