Campus Renovation

Fla. Elementary School to Add Middle School Expansion

The Polk County School Board in Davenport, Fla., recently approved funding to expand the campus of Bella Citta Elementary School to add a middle school. The $22-million addition will add classrooms for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students, as well as a new gymnasium, a cafeteria and a track. Construction is projected to be complete by June 2023, according to local news sources.

The current site of Bella Citta Elementary is 20 acres and can accommodate performance and fine arts classrooms. Local news reports that the facility also has space to expand because it is not obligated to build a retention pond for runoff water. “This site is bigger than a standard elementary school site,” said Angela Usher, assistant superintendent for facilities and operations.

Local news reports that combining the two facilities allows students to attend the same school from kindergarten through eighth grade. The move will reduce crowding at nearby schools and provide additional benefits to students’ behavioral and social issues within a tight-knit community.

The only dissenting vote came from school board member Kay Fields, who wondered whether the campus was big enough to fit an entire extra school. “I love the idea of a K–8 school. That’s not my concern,” said Fields at the meeting. “My concern is whether or not there’s enough space to accommodate that with all of the things that need to be in place for middle school students.”

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].