Another new elementary school planned for east-central Pasco
The Penny for Pasco extension project list doesn't say a word about new school construction, which was a primary objective of the first round of the local sales tax.
But that doesn't mean that new school buildings are a thing of the past.
In fact, a new, $18 million elementary school in the Wiregrass Ranch area is listed in the district's proposed five-year capital projects plan (attached below), with a projected start in the 2013-14 fiscal year. The new school is becoming necessary because of continued crowding at Seven Oaks Elementary despite the opening of Watergrass Elementary. It would be covered with impact fees and other revenue not associated with the sales tax.
It's not the only new construction project under consideration. District officials said they plan to review the need for rebuilding Sanders Elementary, which has been razed, after they have a month's worth of attendance data in hand. Their concerns are that Oakstead Elementary continues to house close to 1,000 children despite efforts to ease the load there, while Connerton Elementary (which took all of Sanders' population when it closed) has several portables out back to handle its nearly 850 students. Money already is set aside for that $16.5 million "modernization and replacement" project.
As a result the district, which is growing slightly again after years of stagnant enrollment, might soon see new schools rising after a couple of years without. The district opened 20 new schools since 2004, but none in the past two years. The School Board is scheduled to consider approval of the five-year plan on Tuesday.