CORAL SPRINGS, FL – In 2014, voters approved $800 million in bonds for Broward County schools to renovate and upgrade buildings and campuses.
Six years later, work is still going on at schools in Coral Springs and across the district.
This week, school district officials sent out an update to parents on the progress being made on the spending for the “Smart Program,” which focuses on safety, music and art, athletics, renovations, and technology.
An info-graphic report highlighted what’s been accomplished at schools in Coral Springs, Tamarac, Parkland, and other areas as part of District 4.
- $26 million has been spent on completing “single point of entry” in buildings.
- 8,110 items related to music and art have been worked on, valued at $2.6 million.
- One track and four weight rooms have been completed at schools.
- 13 projects are under construction related to renovations.
- Regarding technology, 14,950 items have been completed.
Still, for critics of the program, their concerns have centered on project delays and rising budgets.
“The SMART Program has encountered various issues and challenges since its inception,” said School Board member Lori Alhadeff, who represents Coral Springs, Tamarac, Parkland, Margate, and North Lauderdale.
“The absence of comprehensive planning at the bond’s start resulted in both a delayed execution of projects as well as a budget inflated by millions of dollars.”
District officials have said the projects take time to design, secure permits, and review bids for the work.
As part of the bond issue, schools received $100,000 each to spend on their campuses and curriculums.
In Coral Springs, eight schools are now under construction, according to the report. They include:
- Contractors at Maplewood Elementary at 9850 Ramblewood Drive have completed the media center and restroom renovations, while piping work for fire sprinklers improvements is ongoing.
- At Ramblewood Elementary at 8950 Shadow Wood Boulevard, the base and structure of the new heat, ventilation, and conditioning chiller are being worked on. The school’s media center has new floors, paint, shelving, and furniture. Elsewhere on campus, installation of air handling units and ductwork is underway.
- A new media center is being built at Westchester Elementary School at 12405 Royal Palm Boulevard and two restrooms are getting renovated. In addition, a fire sprinkler system is going to be replaced.
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