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Pasco School Board okays three-year, $194 million construction plan

Acknowledging its brief enrollment decrease has ended, the Pasco School Board on Tuesday endorsed a three-year, $194 million building and renovation plan aimed at coping with crowding and handling a rebound in growth.

The district experienced a 1,000 student increase this year, and is now anticipating a similar jump next year. From 1986-2011, Pasco saw its student population rise 127 percent. That ranked 18th fastest growing district in the country, and third fastest in Florida. The next two years it dropped slightly, but things quickly are turning around.

"Our brief lull in growth is probably behind us," planning director Chris Williams told the board.

The district's accelerated construction program includes:

New Penny for Pasco projects -- Quail Hollow Elementary renovations ($11.5m), Shady Hills Elementary renovations ($11.5m), Bayonet Point Middle renovations ($15.1m), Cox Elementary redevelopment ($7.5m), Pasco Elementary remodeling ($5.6m), Anclote Elementary remodeling ($11.5m), and Marchman Technical Education Center remodeling ($7.2m), Elementary School W in Wiregrass Ranch ($18.8m, from new sales tax and past sales tax remainder)

Other major capital projects -- Sanders Elementary rebuilding ($16.9m, from interlocal agreement fees), High School GGG on Old Pasco Road ($62.7m, from impact fees), District Office Building 4 expansion ($6.5m), Stewart Middle gymnasium ($4.6m), Schrader Elementary replacement ($13.9m, from interlocal agreement fees)

The plan also includes $11.3 million for a new student information system, as well as $4.3 million for interest on a new bond approved Tuesday, and $27.4 million for principal and interest on the district's old sales tax revenue bond. The work for each project is slated to be done by the middle of 2017, when High School GGG would open.

Board members worried that the rapid construction would cause multiple attendance zone changes. Williams said his goal would be to ensure students not switch schools more than once in any level (elementary, middle or high).