Thursday, October 18, 2018
Education

Cost-cutting continues in the Hillsborough school district, now in the building department

TAMPA — The Hillsborough school district eliminated six jobs this week in its Planning and Construction department to save $750,000 a year.

Dismissed were four architects, one project coordinator and the department's longtime general manager, according to district spokeswoman Tanya Arja.

The cuts made sense, Arja said, because "we are at a point where we're doing the lowest number of projects in the last 20 years."

In the 1990s and early 2000's the district typically opened schools every year, sometimes as many as a half-dozen.

All of that changed with the recession, and now the district builds classroom additions far more often than schools.

While renewed population growth will require more building, Arja said the district can contract out for project management. Impact fees, which are paid by developers to offset the cost of roads and schools, can help pay those costs, she said.

And not everyone in the construction department was let go. The district kept four accounting employees and two secretaries.

Hillsborough is cutting costs on numerous fronts in an effort to protect is bond rating. A hiring freeze is in effect, spending on supplies and travel has been slashed, and a consultant is in the third phase of an efficiency audit.

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