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Heritage Elementary lines are drawn

The School Board approved a compromise proposal Tuesday evening of boundaries for the new Heritage Elementary School in New Tampa, despite objections from a few parents.

The plan calls for children in Heritage Isles and the surrounding apartment complexes to attend the new school. Children in Cory Lake Isles, Arbor Greene and Cross Creek will continue to attend Pride Elementary.

About 240 student will attend Heritage Elementary when it opens in August 2003, but that number will grow by some 719 students, said William Person, director of Pupil Administrative Services.

School officials had considered moving students in Pinehurst and Magnolia Trace to Heritage Elementary, but many local parents objected.

Children in those two neighborhoods, and these, will stay at Pride: Kingshyre, Covington, Andover, Meadow Creek, Creekwood, Arbor Green and Cory Lake Isles.

Children in these neighborhoods will move to Heritage: Addison, Villas, Heritage Isles, Heritage Pines, Branchton and an unnamed subdivision.

As the plan is drawn, the only neighborhoods with single-family homes are Heritage Isles, which has roughly 400 of its planned 900 homes built, and Branchton.

The rest of the students who will attend Heritage Elementary come from nearby apartment complexes.

Gary Nager, a Hunter's Green resident, said Heritage Elementary will be adversely affected by large numbers of students from apartment complexes. He said these students are more transient and generally have lower socioeconomic backgrounds than students from homes.

"It think the new school, compared with other elementary schools in the area, is going to be at a disadvantage," Nager said.

Person said the unnamed subdivision will include single-family units.

Lloyd Marriott, of Heritage Isles, said the proposed boundaries create a traffic danger because they wind around a number of existing neighborhoods. He said the School Board should consider a plan with boundaries along a single thoroughfare.

Elementary school named

Separately, the board voted to name another new elementary school, in the University Community Area, for local civic activist Barbara Muller.

A former teacher, Muller lived in the University Village Retirement Center, where she tutored children and served on a variety of boards.

"I can truly say this woman was a role model to kids in the neighborhood, and a hero," said Julian Garcia, executive director of the University Area Community Development Corp.

The elementary school, at 13720 N 23rd St., will open next August.

_ John Balz can be reached at (813) 269-5313 or at balzsptimes.com.

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