Eatonville asks Orange County to help fund a Zora! campus on Hungerford site
Eatonville community leaders are asking the Orange County Tourist Development Task Force to help them fund a new Zora Neale Hurston Campus.
The campus would be built on 23 of the 100 acres where the former Hungerford School stood and would feature a Zora museum, a 1,000-person conference center, and a STEM lab and learning center.
The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community Director N.Y. Nathiri says the group would need a $87 million dollar commitment over the next ten years from Orange County.
But in return, the project would create over 700 new jobs.
“Not only do you have people working, but there are people who are actively training to be able to fill those jobs," said Nathiri. "So that a fifth grader in Eatonville, or in Parramore, or in Ocoee or in Bithlo can say if I get this training, if I become a plumber, I can get a job at the campus.”
Nathiri said those jobs would be in construction, maintenance and upkeep of the museum, as well as curator positions.
“People will be coming from around the county, they will be coming from outside the state," said Nathiri. "When I say that this is the juice, that means in every way, that you will have people coming, it will add to the value of life here."
Orange County Schools still own the site of the former school, after a developer dropped out of a deal to turn the site into mixed housing.