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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Buildings for the future



With declining enrollment looming large, Pinellas school superintendent Clayton Wilcox is making plans to use the county's schools most effectively. He presented several money-saving options to School Board members a recent workshop. Among them:

• Using the old Dunedin Elementary School as the site for an enlarged Curtis Fundamental Elementary rather than spending an estimated $3- to $4-million to rebuild it.

• Converting the existing Curtis Fundamental in Clearwater to a "center of excellence" for high school students interested in pursuing career technical education.

• Completing an unfinished wing at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School in St. Petersburg to open up more fundamental seats for children in south Pinellas.

• Cutting back on plans for the new Boca Ciega High School in St. Petersburg that would reduce construction costs to the upper $60-million range.

• Re-evaluating design plans for the Jacobson Culinary Arts Center at Tarpon Springs High to keep the cost closer to the $3.5-million originally proposed.

Wilcox also announced that the district will shift some of the funds earmarked for replacement schools or new construction into a dedicated maintenance fund for upkeep on existing school buildings. Stay tuned.

- Donna Winchester, Pinellas County education reporter

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:16am]


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