Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough plans two new schools, three school renovations

TAMPA — Hillsborough County's school district will build an elementary and middle school in the southeastern part of the county and is renovating three elementaries this year.

Beyond those projects, the prospect for additional ones is unclear as the state continues to direct its capital education dollars to charter schools.

Hillsborough educators are skeptical about the state's projection of charter school growth.

"The state likes to think we're going to have a lot of kids going to charter and virtual," chief facilities officer Cathy Valdes told the Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday.

The state projection: Charter school population districtwide will increase from 11,894 in 2012-2013 to 19,410 in 2017-2018.

Population in traditional schools is expected to decrease for several years, according to a five-year plan that the district is required to update every year.

"The state is projecting that we're going to lose about 1,000 students a year into the fifth year of the plan," Valdes said. "And then they show us starting to gain again, because you know we are going to have growth in Hillsborough County."

This year's plan calls for renovations at Cannella, Bing and Boyette Springs elementary schools for a total of $18.5 million.

Looking to the future, board members wondered if the district might be caught off-guard — especially if school population does not conform to the state's expectations.

City of Tampa redevelopment efforts could put a strain on the Rampello Downtown Partnership School, they said.

Similarly, as the construction sector continues to rebound, south Hillsborough could find itself with school crowding.

Anticipating such trends, the district has planned most of its new construction in the southern part of the county.

Board member Stacy White of Valrico said he's interested in more than just construction. His constituents have asked if the district might open a fifth International Baccalaureate high school program in his district.

Superintendent MaryEllen Elia said that is not likely to happen any time soon because of the costs, but her staff will track the population in the four existing IB schools to see if the demand exists.

Marlene Sokol can be reached at (813) 226-3356 or

Hillsborough plans two new schools, three school renovations 07/23/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 11:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Did you watch the second episode of 'Star Trek: Discovery'? Or just the first?


    CBS finally, finally, finally premiered its long-awaited new Star Trek series Discovery on Sunday night, albeit a bit delayed after 60 Minutes.

    Michelle Yeoh and Sonequa Martin-Green play the captain and first officer of the Shenzhou.
  2. Rick Scott's office deleted critical messages related to post-hurricane nursing home deaths

    As Florida continues to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, more confusion builds around the 11 heat-related deaths at a South Florida nursing home following the storm earlier this month.

    Police surround the Rehabilitation Center in Hollywood Hills, Fla., which had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power. Several patients at the sweltering nursing home died in the storm's aftermath. [John McCall | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  3. J.T. Brown of Lightning respects NFL players' protests


    There was something in the air in the NFL on Sunday. President Trump’s comments and tweets on NFL player protests achieved the effect of creating more of them. Lightning winger J.T. Brown was asked about it as he stood in a hall at Amalie Arena, a few hours before the Lightning played the Florida Panthers in …

    J.T. Brown, one of about 30 African-American players in the National Hockey League, would not rule out that he might protest.
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of Sept. 25-Oct. 1


    MegaCon Tampa: The multi-genre convention brings a lineup of celebrity guests and comic book creators to the Tampa Convention Center Friday-Sunday, including icon Stan Lee, William Shatner, above, Kevin Smith and Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin from Stranger Things. Shop hundreds of vendors selling …

    Courtesy Adultswim
  5. Names released in Clearwater crash involving helicopter, plane


    CLEARWATER — Authorities released more details Monday about the crash involving a helicopter and airplene over the weekend at the Clearwater Air Park.

    Clearwater Fire Department emergency personal are seen dousing a plan with fire retardant after the plane crashed into a helicopter at Clearwater Air Park 1000 N Hercules Avenue Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. According to Clearwater Fire two patients sustained minor injuries. Photo by Clearwater Fire