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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pinellas School Board to vote on $10.5 million project for technical high school



The Pinellas County school district needs its School Board to approve a $10.5 million project for the district's first technical high school at Tuesday's board meeting.

Without it, Career Academies of Seminole, where hundreds of students currently commute to every day for two periods of technical classes, can't transition into Career Academies of Seminole Technical High School. Officials originally planned for an August 2017 debut but are now setting their sights on the 2018-19 school year.

"The selection of architects and construction plans and things like that didn't go as quickly as we hoped," said Mark Hunt, the district's executive director of career, technical and adult education. "We'd rather delay it rather than open it."

Of the $10.5 million total project cost, about $7 million will come from the bond market to pay for a new two-story building to house traditional high school classes as well as a cafeteria, kitchen and office space.

The rest will come out of the district's capital outlay fund to pay for infrastructure such as parking lots, bus ramps and renovations to existing buildings.

Officials hope to enroll 150 freshman and 150 sophomores in the technical high school's first year. Hunt said the school should have around 600 to 700 students at maximum capacity to maintain a smaller school community.

Career Academies of Seminole Technical High school will be a "choice school," meaning no students will be zoned for the school. Hunt said the school district will begin advertising the school in the coming school year.

Students will be taught using a "personalized learning" curriculum and must enroll in one of seven programs: marine mechanics, practical nursing, veterinary assistance, building and construction technology, computer programming, electrical and solar electricity and digital and graphic design. Students will have the opportunity to be dual-enrolled at St. Petersburg College and Pinellas Technical College.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 23, 2017 9:41pm]


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