June 11, 2020
By: Tiffany Razzano
TAMPA – Hillsborough County Public Schools will spend $65 million to replace the HVAC systems at 13 schools and to fund other projects, Superintendent Addison Davis announced at Tuesday’s Hillsborough County School Board meeting.
The 13 schools receiving the new HVAC systems are Dickenson Elementary, Gibsonton Elementary, Robinson Elementary, Valrico Elementary, Adams Middle School, Eisenhower Middle School, Franklin Middle School, Young Middle School, Alonso High School, Blake High School, Leto High School, LaVoy Exceptional Center and Tampa Bay Technical High School. Blake will also get an upgraded fire alarm system. The total cost for the HVAC replacement is $62.7 million.
Armwood, Jefferson and King High Schools will also have their tracks replaced, costing the district $734,000.
Buchanan Middle School, Ferrell Girls Preparatory Academy, and Foster and Just Elementary Schools will be repainted, costing the district $1.9 million.
These projects will be funded by the countywide half-penny sales tax approved by Hillsborough voters in 2018.
“I’m very thankful that the community has backed and supported the educational process. We’re really grateful for our community to trust their funds with us to make sure we’re filling in any gaps that may be addressed within our facilities, within our structures,” Davis said.
He added, “There are millions upon millions of deferred maintenance that has not been addressed.”
To date, the district has spent $121 million in sales tax funds, completing 87 projects with another 144 projects in progress, he said. More than 1,700 projects are planned throughout the district during the 10 years the sales tax is in place, he added. These projects include roof and HVAC replacements, technology upgrades and security improvements.
“This is all to help not only the working conditions of all our employees, but at the same time make certain our children walk into an environment that is conducive to learning, that is going to meet them where they are to help them and prepare them for jobs that do not exist today,” Davis said.