Pasco County Schools is planning two elementary school renovation projects and two athletic facility renovation projects using proceeds from Penny for Pasco, a sales tax approved by voters.
Betsy Kuhn, assistant superintendent for support services, told the Pasco County School Board recently that the district has prioritized renovation of West Zephyrhills Elementary School and Cypress Elementary School, as two of the newest projects to use Penny for Pasco proceeds.
The district also has selected Pasco and Land O’ Lakes high schools for its first athletic renovation projects, Kuhn told the school board, during its April 18 meeting.
The Pasco High project also includes a classroom wing and the renovation and expansion of the school’s kitchen and cafeteria.
The elementary school projects will be in design during the coming school year and then construction will begin after that, Kuhn said.
West Zephyrhills Elementary School was originally built in 1958. Cypress Elementary School was built in 1973.
Penny for Pasco is a 1-cent government infrastructure sales tax initially adopted in March 2004, and was in effect from Jan. 1, 2005 through Dec. 31, 2014.
Voters then extended it for 10 years, with that renewal going from Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2024.
In the November 2022 general election, Pasco voters overwhelmingly voted to extend the tax, this time for 15 years, beginning Jan. 1, 2025 and running through Dec. 31, 2039.
The extension was approved by 64.7% of the voters. It is expected to yield about $1.9 billion in revenues, which will be split between the school district, the county and the county’s municipalities. The school district and county each would receive 45% and the municipalities would share the remaining 10%.
Before the tax was adopted, the school district identified a number of new schools that will be supported by the 15-year extension of the tax. The district also uses state funds and impact fees to help pay for new school construction.
Some of the new schools expected to use Penny proceeds include:
- A new elementary school near the Bexley development, off State Road 54, in Land O’ Lakes
- A K-8 school in the State Road 52 corridor, in an area known as the Central Pasco Employment Village, also in Land O’ Lakes
- A K-8 school, in the State Road 54 corridor, near Ballantrae
- A K-8, or whatever is needed, in the Villages of Pasadena Hills, between Wesley Chapel and Dade City
But those are just some of the projects the school district expects to support with Penny funding.
It also is planning school expansions and upgraded athletic facilities, and it expects to add computers in schools, enhance the district’s computer network, fortify the safety on its campuses, improve safety at driver pickup locations at schools, and address other needs.
Published May 03, 2023