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Hillsborough schools break ground for referendum jobs

Woodbridge Elementary School will get two new playgrounds and, this summer, an air conditioning overhaul.

Former University of South Florida President Betty Castor can swing a sledgehammer, and here is photographic proof.

So can Sara Jacobsen Capps, the principal of Woodbridge Elementary School.

Sara Jacobsen Capps, the principal of Woodbridge Elementary School, breaks ground on a new playground in a ceremony Friday. [MARLENE SOKOL | Times]

Capps, Castor and others took turns breaking a slab of concrete outside Woodbridge as part of a media ceremony to celebrate the beginning of work under the new half-cent sales surtax for school capital projects.

"Right here at Woodbridge Elementary, we have two brand new play courts going in," said Superintendent Jeff Eakins who was there, along with the others, in a hard hat.

"And we have a complete overhaul of the air conditioning system this summer."

Old air conditioning equipment at Woodbridge Elementary School. An upgrade is planned this summer. [MARLENE SOKOL | Times ]

Members of the tax referendum oversight committee, which Castor chairs, have been looking for opportunities to thank the voters for approving the surtax in its first trip to the polls in November.

Air conditioning jobs are planned at most schools, and they will consume roughly half of the estimated $1.5 billion that will come in over the tax's 10 year lifespan.

The first 21 air conditioning jobs are planned this summer.