CARROLLWOOD — Students at Carrollwood Elementary will soon have a shelter, thanks in part to borrowed money that had been earmarked for Citrus Park.
"We've realigned $100,000 from the Citrus Park Community Center and given it to the Old Carrollwood Community Recreation Center's after-school program,'' said John Brill, spokesman for parks and recreation.
Brill said the money, to be given back to Citrus Park next year, will be used for preliminary site work, including engineering and architectural design.
"This sounds like one more chance to slight us,'' said Linda Gadbaw, a longtime civic activist in Citrus Park. "Why not take the money out of Westchase?''
Two years ago, Hillsborough County commissioners set aside $2.8-million for a community center in Citrus Park.
When a site for the center was discarded due to environmental concerns, the project was put on temporary hold.
Then, when the county fell on hard times and lacked money for operating costs, that temporary hold became indefinite.
The Citrus Park "money's earmarked for something that's not happening right now,'' Brill said.
Something that is happening, however, is the school district's project at Carrollwood Elementary on McFarland Road.
The project includes two enclosed buildings, 1,900-square-feet each. They're being built next to a covered basketball court to be available to students during regular school hours.
After school, they will be used by the county's after-school program.
"What we're winding up with is an indoor, outdoor facility,'' Brill said.
An agreement between Hillsborough County and the School Board calls for the county to reimburse the school system up to $1-million for construction costs.
The school system will be responsible for the buildings' day-to-day maintenance.
The project is to be completed by the end of the year.
The buildings will include restrooms, storage areas, offices and multipurpose rooms for games and meetings.
"It gives some coverage from the sun and rain,'' Brill said.
Reach Jackie Ripley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 269-5308.