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South Florida charter school eyes site near ChampionsGate for new K-8 campus

With a new school charter approved for Osceola County, Miami-based AcadeMir Schools is “scrambling” to find a suitable location, their contractor said.

Representatives from F.P. Dino met recently with county planners to discuss a potential K-8 school site on 10 acres at the intersection of Goodman Road and Bella Citta Boulevard, just north of ChampionsGate.

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Vice President Brett Foster said they thought the site would be a good fit for the school, which could serve up to 1,000 students. The preliminary conceptual plan shows a 50,000-square-foot building with parking for 76 and a drive aisle that can accommodate up to 116 vehicles for student drop-off and pick-up.

His primary concern was the future Bella Citta Bouelvard extension, which would go through the southern portion of the site. The school and its parking lot would have to be designed to avoid the future road right-of-way.

The future Bella Citta Boulevard extension, shown by the blue line, would go through the southern portion of the potential charter school site.
The future Bella Citta Boulevard extension, shown by the blue line, would go through the southern portion of the potential charter school site. (Osceola County)

Osceola County’s comprehensive plan calls for that extension to connect with Sinclair Road in Reunion, but the alignment hasn’t been finalized.

“We’re actually in the process of working with Reunion to come to an agreement for an extension of the Bella Citta/Sinclair,” county transportation engineer Joshua Brooks said. The next step would be to initiate a Project Development and Environment Study for the road in coordination with Reunion. The PD&E study, which determines the preferred alignment, would take about 18 months.

The developer wants to build a mix of apartments and townhomes on the vacant land between two of Osceola County's most popular resort communities.

Foster said F.P. Dino has a tight timeline. “We’re looking at being open in August 2022, so we’re looking at about a year and four months to get through the planning process and expedite our building there,” he said.

He also asked if the county would consider working with the developer a shared stormwater pond that would serve the school parking lot and the new road. Brooks said they could work out a developer’s agreement for the shared use and a mobility fee credit for the right-of-way dedication. “I think it would be great, especially if the timing works out, and it sounds like it could potentially work out,” he said.

AcadeMir currently operates eight charter schools in Miami and Doral that focus on teaching science, math, reading and technology. The initial plan for the Osceola campus would be to open with about 450 elementary students and add grade levels over subsequent years.

The site is adjacent to the 104-acre Dewan property, which is under contract to Cortland Partners and Elevation Development for new apartments and single family homes. Cortland has filed building permits for a 355-unit luxury apartment community. Elevation is expected to submit plans with the county later this month.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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