LAKELAND, Fla. - It is not unusual for Polk County to build a new school during the summer, so it can open in the fall when kids come back.
But what Polk County is doing right now is unusual. It is building three new schools, trying to keep up with the number of new students that are coming into the system.
"I don’t think we have ever seen growth like this," said Assistant Superintendent Angela Usher. "We are ideally located between Tampa and Orlando, and it is a good place for residential development."
And that’s exactly what is happening. Subdivisions and custom-built homes are popping up all over. Polk County has become one of the fastest-growing areas in the entire country.
"My business, as far as new homes are concerned, is phenomenal," said William Webb of Web Homebuilders Group, and a former president of the Polk County Builders Association. "We’re just maxed out with the number of homes that we can build."
School officials say 1,000 new students flood into the Polk County school system every year. The area known as Four Corners, in the northeast part of the county, is especially hot.
"It is not just the northeast," comments Usher. "It is the entire County."
She says Polk already has plans in place to build even more schools in South Lakeland, Davenport, and Winter Haven.