New school expected to alleviate overcrowding in southern Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County Schools gave the public its first look at a new school under construction in the southern part of the county, as the district races to keep pace with the area's population explosion.

The Dorothy C. York Innovation Academy, a pre-K through 8th grade magnet school in Apollo Beach, is scheduled to open in August and will have space for 1,600 students.

The new building is part of the district's five-year plan to deal with population growth that has seen six schools in the Southern Hillsborough County area go overcapacity.

"Being from south Hillsborough County it has been amazing for me to watch the community grow, so I'm hoping that we will be able to provide relief to some of our schools, our surrounding community schools that are running over capacity at this point," said York Principal Missy Lennard. "With this beautiful school and the seats we have to offer, I think it will be a great solution for South Hillsborough County."

Belmont, Reddick and Wimauma Elementary Schools and Shields Middle School have all exceeded 100 percent capacity, as have Newsome, Lennard and Sumner High Schools, the latter of which was just built-in 2020.

During the next five years, Spoto High School, along with Collins, Wimauma and Pinecrest Elementary Schools, are all going to be expanded. In 2025, the district will be another new high school.

The district has a much more expansive 15-year plan, which includes the construction of more than a dozen additional schools, all in the same area of Hillsborough County.

This story has been updated that the school will have space for 1,600 students.