Sometimes, you just need to say thank you.
Especially when you receive $653,000,000.
That is how much money our school district has received, so far, from you, taxpayers, through the Education Referendum, which voters approved in November, 2018.
The money is earmarked specifically for improvements to our schools such as air conditioning renovations and overhauls, new roofs, updated playgrounds, technology upgrades and safety and security updates.
Hundreds of projects have already been completed. Some are huge projects, such as the new roofs or new HVAC units. Other projects are smaller, like repaving parking lots or putting a fresh coat of paint on the school.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Summer Projects
Summer is the busiest time for these projects to be completed because students and staff are not on campus, and crews do not have to work around the bell schedule.
For example, let’s look at Grady Elementary School in South Tampa. Grady Elementary will soon have a new HVAC thanks to referendum dollars. They are just one of the 14 schools receiving major HVAC work this summer.
Robinson High School is also receiving big benefits right now from referendum dollars as part of its school remodel. Robinson recently received a fire alarm system, HVAC and a new PA system for the school thanks to money from the referendum.
“Our school opened its doors in 1959 and there is a large number of alumni who still live in the area and have had their sons and daughters as well as their grandchildren attend Robinson High,” said Robinson High’s principal Dave Brown. “Having the remodel to our school breathes new life into – not just the school – but into the community! Not only do the students and the staff feel prouder and more confident knowing they have a state-of-the-art facility to learn in, but the community itself is happier and they come together even stronger to support our school.”
These projects are months, if not years, in the making.
It starts with bidding, then planning, then preparations. The projects then go before our Citizen Oversight Committee to make sure the right projects are taking place at the right schools at the right time.
Believe it or not, next summer’s projects are already in the planning stages. There are 13 schools already scheduled to have major referendum projects next summer. They are:
- Brandon High
- Bryan Elementary
- Burns Middle
- East Bay High
- Fishhawk Creek Elementary
- Heritage Elementary
- Mendenhall Elementary
- Nelson Elementary
- Roosevelt Elementary
- Seminole Elementary
- Sessums Elementary
- Shaw Elementary
- Shields Middle
Those are just the major projects. There are dozens of smaller projects that will also be completed at schools across our district. You can see a complete list of ongoing and proposed projects on our website, www.hillsboroughschools.org.
Our students and our staff benefit from every dollar you spend in our community.
Every cool classroom, every security upgrade, every coat of paint or renovated court or field is because of you.
So, I guess there’s only one thing left to say.
Originally published in July 2023 of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.