By Tamas Mondovics

In an effort to provide space for new growth in the area and to offer relief to the overcrowding, Hillsborough County school officials are considering boundary changes affecting Riverview and East Bay High School students.

According to County Schools Growth Management and Planning General Manager Lorraine Duffy-Suarez, one proposed option is being brought to the communities involved.

“We have worked on this proposal for several months and feel that it is a well balanced option to address the challenges affecting the students living in the proposed school boundaries,” Suarez said adding that the attendance boundaries of East Bay, Lennard, Riverview, Spoto and Brandon High Schools will be impacted in an effort to balance enrollment among the high schools.

Residents will have a chance to visit with school officials and growth management staff to learn and give their input on the proposed high school boundary changes during two public meetings with the same information available at both, scheduled for this month.

The first meeting is to be held on Monday, December 8 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Riverview High School cafeteria at 11311 Boyette Rd. in Riverview. A second meeting will also be held at the East Bay High School cafeteria at 7710 Old Big Bend Rd. in Gibsonton on Thursday, December 11 from 6-7:30 p.m.

As part of the solution, Hillsborough County Public School officials will open an addition at Lennard High, located at 2342 E. Shell Point Rd. in Ruskin, by the start of the next school year. The newly constructed school wing will have the capacity to house nearly 500 students in 20 classrooms.

Suarez assured that the proposed high school boundary changes are not final until they go before the School Board for a vote in early 2015.

When the proposal is approved, some students currently assigned to East Bay and Riverview area high schools will be reassigned to Brandon, Lennard, Riverview, and Spoto, but juniors who will be seniors next year will be allowed to remain at their current high school.

“These changes will be effective for the school year starting August 2015,” said External Communications Assistant Manager Kristin Davis.

In addition, Barrington, Dowdell, Eisenhower, Giunta, McLane and Rodgers middle schools will have information available for eighth grade students who will be impacted by the proposed high school boundary changes next year.

Maps of the proposed high school boundary changes are available at www.sdhc.k12.fl.us.

Families can explore other attendance options at www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/ departments/95/hillsborough-choice-options/about/. E-mail questions and comments to boundaries@sdhc.k12.fl.us.