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Christian schools are being caught up by the same student influx as public institutions, with Orangewood Christian School in Maitland the latest example.

The 30-year-old institution plans a $4 million renovation for its elementary school that involves a significant addition of classrooms and a more than 10,000-square-foot multipurpose facility.

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The school has not yet chosen a general contractor for the project, which also includes an auditorium.

"Our portables are aging out and we are at capacity and need more room," said Donald Larson, head of school at Orangewood. "Also, we provide a Christian education and people are looking for that."

There are 320 students in Orangewood's elementary school.

Word that Orangewood is expanding comes just days after The First Academy in southwest Orlando said it had outgrown its athletic space and would be adding regulation size volleyball and basketball courts, what the school calls a collegiate-type weight room and new athletic offices, in a $10.5 million project.

Additionally, St. Luke's Lutheran Church and School in Oviedo has said it plans a 13,000-square-foot gymnasium and a 9,000-square-foot building that will have a youth center, meeting rooms and classrooms, in a $5.4 million project.

Meanwhile, public schools are seeing surging enrollment. Orange County schools, for instance, added almost 5,000 students this year, a spokeswoman said.

Orangewood's elementary campus, at 1221 Trinity Woods Lane, off Wymore Road and Interstate 4, is made up of five acres. The one-story multi-purpose building is planned to have a gym with two basketball courts and a cafeteria and an auditorium.

Also planned is a 12,000-square-foot to 14,000-square-foot, two-story school building, with eight classrooms on each floor.

The buildings will replace eight portable classrooms.

Orangewood plans to raise the $4 million project cost through family members of students and its affiliation with Orangewood Presbyterian Church, Larson said.

Building is expected to begin within two years and be complete in four to five years.

Plans are to build the gym first, then put temporary classrooms in the gym while the portables are town down. After that the the classroom building will be built.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at ktalley@growthspotter.com or (407) 420-5176. Follow GrowthSpotter on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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