Pasco school district prepares to reenter construction mode
It's been more than three years since the Pasco school district opened a brand new school. Enrollment growth trailed off, giving the district some room to focus on overdue maintenance, renovations and replacements of aging structures.
The boom is back now, and officials are taking several steps to ensure students have the seats they need.
Late in November, the School Board authorized the sale of bonds against anticipated sales tax revenue, in order to jump start several construction projects. This week, the board is slated to approve actions needed to turn the ideas into reality. The proposed actions include a site evaluation for a K-8 school at Starkey Ranch, a planned development with joint county and school facilities; the hiring of an architect for a K-5 STEM magnet at the site of the former Sanders Elementary, which closed and is now planned to reopen in 2015; and the initiation of developing educational specifications for a new high school in Wesley Chapel, to open in 2017.
The new high school, which is expected to take three years to get from design to finished product, is to be based on the design of Fivay High, which opened in 2010.
Other projects are already under way, including the replacement of Shady Hills and Quail Hollow elementary schools, and the renovation of Schrader Elementary. These and other initiatives should keep the district construction department busy for years to come.