The last time Pinellas built a school, part 2
Superintendent Mike Grego asked the Pinellas County School Board Tuesday a seemingly simple question: When was the last time the district built a new school?
Grego said Palm Harbor University High, built in 1996. Well, it appears that he was wrong.
The Gradebook heard from someone who remembers the history of Pinellas County a bit differently. The school district built at least three new schools after Palm Harbor University High - it built James Sanderlin Elementary, Douglas Jamerson Elementary and Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School.
The schools, which opened in 2003 in south Pinellas, were built as part of an agreement reached with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to end court-ordered busing for desegregation. The district also rebuilt Gulfport, Campbell Park and Fairmount Park elementaries at that time because district officials thought new construction was more cost-efficient than renovating the schools.
A quick search of the archives shows that the Times covered the new schools extensively. The website for Thurgood Marshall also says that it opened in a brand-new facility in the 2003/04 school year.
Grego was right that the school district hasn't done a lot of building in recent years because of extensive cuts to the capital budget. The next school coming to Pinellas is a new Largo High, which has been on the waiting list for years.