VENICE (WWSB) - “There’s been quite a been of growth in the area, so as more people move in, we’ve ended up with more people coming into Venice High School to a point now where it’s 100% full,” explained John Holic, the Mayor of Venice.
Venice High School is now overcrowded. It was only intended to have 2,100 students, and currently has about 2,400. So now, the challenge is how should they address this growth?
“We have to now look for other ways to hold those kids. We always tell principles that we’ll never have anyone sitting outside of the classroom, there will always be a seat for every student," said Kathie Ebaugh, the Director of Planning for the Sarasota County School District, "But where is that seat going to be? A permanent location like a new classroom wing, or a temporary location like a portable?”
The temporary portables would only be installed if the decision was made to build a new school. The Sarasota County School District is asking for the public’s input by hosting a series of meetings throughout the next few weeks.
“So the two choices basically is to make Venice High is a super big school by adding the permanent classroom wing, or temporarily make Venice High a big school by adding portable classrooms. What that allows them to do is have classrooms for the overcapacity while they build a new high school in another location,” Mayor Holic explained to us.
The district will then be taking all the responses to the December School Board Meeting where they would make a decision.
“We would tell them we’ve listened to the community. We talked to them about what they think and these are their ideas. Ultimately, the decision is up to the Board, but it’s always good to hear from the community especially for a very important decision like this one,” said Ebaugh.
The school board meeting will be held at Venice City Hall on December 10th, and they will be making the final decision on the future of Venice High School.
Here is the schedule of public meetings held before then:
Tuesday, Nov. 13
• Venice Elementary School – 3:15 p.m. in the Cafeteria 150 East Miami Ave., Venice, FL 34285
Wednesday, Nov. 14
• Laurel Nokomis School 3:30 p.m. in the Cafeteria 1900 East Laurel Road, Nokomis, FL 34275
• Taylor Ranch Elementary School – 6:00 p.m. in the Media Center 2500 Taylor Ranch Trail, Venice, FL 34293
Thursday, Nov. 15
• Garden Elementary – 3:15 p.m. in the Media Center 700 Center Road, Venice, FL 34285
Wednesday, Dec. 5
• Venice Chamber of Commerce – 8 a.m. at 597 Tamiami Trail S., Venice, FL 34285