ORLANDO, Fla. - Orange County Public Schools opened four new schools Monday, many of them in the southwestern part of the county.
Horizon West Middle, Castleview Elementary, Water Spring Elementary schools are among the new additions, along with Pershing School off South Bumby Avenue in Orlando.
School board member Pam Gould said the new schools are designed to relieve major overcrowding in classrooms.
"If you look at the county growth, we are the fastest growing area. You're going to see new buildings going on and they get occupied almost as soon as they are out of the ground and built," Gould said.
Gould said the new schools offer plenty of state of the art programs and new technology.
"We look at the populations that's coming in and we can really create some great choices. A lot of young people are into the arts," she explained.
Each school will provide digital touch-screen TVs, a media production lab and new computers.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL: We are live from Horizon West Middle School, one of FOUR new schools opening up this morning!
Hear from a parent who said this is going to be way more convenient for their family from now on!
Story in minutes at 6 am @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/HyWiJO5Ytu — Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) August 12, 2019
Sixth through 8th-grade students will also get their own laptop to use at school and at home.
School leaders admit, however, that more will need to be done to deal with overcrowding.
"Growth hasn't stopped, so we can't have the expectation that we are not going to continue to manage this," Gould said.
Lindsey Turner's son is now attending Horizon West Middle School, and the two were able to get a sneak peak of the new campus in July. Turner told News 6 the transition will be more convenient.
"The school is amazing," she said. "It's a really welcome addition to the community. We are so excited to have another middle school and be part of the education system here as community partners," Turner said.
Orange County Public Schools Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said the school district is expecting to get about 4,000 additional students for the 2019-2020 school year.
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