Stranahan High School, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., one of 3 school renovations moving forward in the Broward County district.

Broward County (Fla.) board hires architects for 3 high school upgrades

Aug. 17, 2016
Projects are nearly two years behind the district's original estimates.

Nearly two years after voters approved a bond issue for the work, the Broward County (Fla.) school board has hired architects to design upgrades at three high schools badly in need of repairs.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that with architects in place, construction at the three campuses could begin by spring 2017.

The schools—Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale, Northeast High in Oakland Park and Blanche Ely High in Pompano Beach—were among many projects included in an $800 million bond program that voters approved in November 2014. All three high schools are plagued by leaking roofs, failing air conditioning systems and other decaying conditions.

After the massive bond proposal won approval, District Superintendent Robert Runcie said he expected construction to start in the summer 2015 at some of the more than 200 schools that needed repairs. But so far, no builders have been hired, although architects are drafting plans for more than 20 schools.

Runcie says that the district has had a "little bit of a rough start getting out of the box" in carrying out the renovations, and says that's largely because the district hasn't had a construction program of such magnitude in nearly 30 years.

Based on estimates from two years ago, the budget for Stranahan is $16.8 million, Blanche Ely is $14.8 million, and Northeast $14.5 million. District officials say those costs may increase after architects conduct a more thorough review of the facilities' conditions.

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