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Hillsborough school board to request $45 million disbursement for construction to fight overcrowding

Posted at 6:39 AM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 11:19:19-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY — The Hillsborough County School Board is meeting on Tuesday.

Leaders have been trying to tackle overcrowding issues at some schools.

“South Tampa and the southern part of the county are both getting a little relief,” said Chief Operating Officer for Hillsborough County Schools, Chris Farkas.

The district has been working to deal with the ongoing issue as population growth continues.

“Robinson has been at capacity for years,” said Farkas.

Robinson High School in South Tampa is one of the projects school officials are focusing on right now. They have plans to build an addition with space for 150 more student stations.

“[At] Robinson it was a dire need. We looked at doing an air conditioning project there. We started looking into it and the windows were an issue, the roof was an issue. So, it just made more sense financially for the tax-payer dollars to go ahead and switch it, knock it down and build a new school back up,” said Farkas.

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The other school the district is working on is Collins Elementary in Riverview. Officials are changing it to a K-8 school to add about 594 more student stations.

“Collins is in the southern part of the county and as we know the growth there has been expanding so quickly you can hardly keep up with that part of it too. So, this is an opportunity to keep a neighborhood together and they’ll go to school from kindergarten through eighth grade,” said Farkas.

That’s why the Hillsborough County School Board is set to approve a resolution to request the disbursement of $45,152,850 total in impact fee funding from the Hillsborough County Commission for the construction at both schools.

The cost for Robinson High School is $5,264,850.

The cost for Collins Elementary school is $39,888,000.

“It definitely is a challenge for us right now from both a construction and cost standpoint it’s through the rough. We’re seeing unprecedented times,” said Farkas.

Construction has already started on both projects and will be going on during the school year.

“Please be patient as we start to build these and I think in the end you’ll be very happy and surprised,” said Farkas.

Both projects are expected to be complete by August 2023.

“It’s going to be a busy year for both of those schools,” said Farkas.

Tuesday’s school board meeting begins at 4 p.m.