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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hernando will complete only K-5 portion of new school north of Weeki Wachee



BROOKSVILLE — Faced with three options on a construction timetable for the new K-8 school north of Weeki Wachee, a divided Hernando School Board picked the middle one Tuesday afternoon.

A majority of the five board members agreed to build the K-5 portion of the school in time to open in fall of 2011. The shell of the middle school portion will be built at the same time, but the interior and the gymnasium won't be completed until needed.

By going that route, the district will lop off about $4.8 million from the school’s total construction cost of $33.7 million, facilities director Bo Bavota told the board. The annual cost to operate the full K-8 school, with 1,271 student stations, is estimated at nearly $3.7 million. That drops by about $1.4 million to run just the K-5 portion, which will have 700 student stations, Bavota said.

Bavota came to Tuesday’s workshop with two other options: Build the entire school in time for fall 2011, or push the project back to 2012. Two board members supported the former; two others favored the latter.
A majority eventually agreed that the district’s overcrowding at the elementary level warrants building the K-5 portion sooner rather than later, despite concerns about a tight budget.

The district had already pushed the K-8 back a year. It was slated to open next fall at the same time as a yet-to-be named, $55 million high school already under construction next door. That school is on time and on budget, Bavota has said.

-- Tony Marrero, Times Staff Writer 

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:31am]


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