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Teachers emotional as renovations to Tampa Heights Elementary are revealed

New building has 51,000 of the original bricks
Posted at 3:54 PM, Dec 14, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. — We are getting a first look at renovations of one of the oldest and most historic elementary schools in the Tampa Bay area.

Tampa Heights Elementary School has undergone a $20 million renovation, after it was burned down three years ago, following a fire caused by Hurricane Irma.

Teachers and students will have brand-new courtyards and outdoor seating areas.

They'll also see new classrooms, a media room and a kitchen.

“We had teachers dancing up the steps, we had teachers hugging on the wall because those are the floors from the original building, we even had teachers that just totally broke down and just cried,” said Wendy Harrison, principal of Tampa Heights Elementary School.

Construction crews were able to preserve many elements of the original historic building, including wall panel, created from the original wood floors. They were also able to save 51,000 of the original bricks.

Three hundred and twenty-five students will begin learning at the newly-renovated school on Jan. 4.