School rezoning planned for future North Hyde Park residents

- The South Tampa housing market is booming, according to realtors, but it seems to be growing faster than the school system can accommodate.

On Tuesday, The Hillsborough County School Board voted on a plan to rezone an area of North Hyde Park for future students only.

According to a map released by the school district, the school boundary changes affect the small area south of Kennedy Boulevard, north of the Selmon Expressway, east of South Boulevard and west of the Hillsborough River.

It is currently a business district, but realtors expect it to rapidly change into a residential area as well over the next few years.

"We are having an apartment boom right now," said Josh Taylor, a broker and owner of Selling Tampa Bay. "We've got a lot of people who are trying to move back into the city to cut down on those commute times, and we also see a lot of people who are moving to the area from your northern environments, especially during the winters."

No current public school students live within the zone, however, plans have been approved for three new apartment buildings within the area, including at the site of the old Tampa Tribune building.

"The 1,000 units would generate over 250 students combined," said Lorraine Duffy-Suarez, General Manager of Growth Management and Planning with Hillsborough County Public Schools.

North Hyde Park is a rapidly growing area with nearby schools that are currently experiencing overcrowding.
Gorrie [Elementary] and Wilson [Middle] are already both over their capacity. Plant [High] is at approximately 94 percent, and that's not counting any new growth that's already been approved, so we wanted to look ahead really," said Duffy-Suarez.

Under the rezoning plan, future students would not be placed in the state A-rated schools of Gorrie, Wilson and Plant in which area students are currently zoned. Future students in the apartment buildings would instead be placed in the D-rated Just Elementary and C-rated Madison Middle and Blake High School.

School officials said they do not believe many families will be affected by the change, because typically parents of school-aged children do not live in high-end downtown apartments.

To see the maps of the rezoning plan, visit http://www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/doc/251/growth-management/resources/boundary/

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