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HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

901 E. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The School Board of Hillsborough County, Florida, met in workshop session September 5, 2017, at 9 a.m., in the School Board Auditorium, 901 East Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, with Superintendent Jeff Eakins and Board Members Lynn Gray, Sally A. Harris, Tamara Shamburger, Melissa Snively (9:21 a.m. arrival), Cindy Stuart (9:06 a.m. arrival), and Susan L. Valdes present.  Chair Stuart presided.

Members Absent: April Griffin

Others present:

School Board Attorney – Jim Porter

Chief of Staff – Alberto Vázquez, Ed.D.

Deputy Superintendent – Van Ayres

Chief of Schools, Administration – Harrison Peters

Assistant Superintendents/Division Chiefs:

Academic Support and Federal Programs – Tracye Brown

            Business Services – Gretchen Saunders

            Communications & Media Officer – Grayson Kamm

            Human Resources – Marie Whelan (Interim)

            Educational Leadership and Professional Development – Tricia McManus

            Operations – Chris Farkas

            Outreach & School Improvement – Larry Sykes, Ed.D.

            Teaching and Learning – Deborah Cook

Media Department Manager – Tanya Arja

Senior Administrative Secretary (Recording) – Aida Farrell

News Media Representatives:

            Tampa Bay Times – Marlene Sokol

Approximately 16 people were in the audience, including other school district personnel.

Vice Chair Sally Harris called the workshop to order at 9:02 a.m.


Capital Planning and Business Strategy Workshop (Business Services)

This workshop was held to provide an overview of HCPS short-term and long-term building plans, collected revenues, and capital expenditures. Presented information also included our current debt picture and the instruments used to fund renovations and new schools.

Gretchen Saunders and Chris Farkas, provided a Power Point presentation, discussion included:

  • Facilities 5 Year Capital Outlay Plan
  • Capital Plan Highlights
  • Construction Plan Projects
  • Capital Revenues
  • Capital Expenses
  • Debt Service
  • Capital Budget – Points to Ponder

Facilities 5 Year Capital Outlay Plan – presented by Mr. Farkas

  • Purpose- Solution Oriented
  • Short-Term Projects (Current Year)
    Refinancing for AC Systems and Sickles Addition Project
  • Long – Term Projects (2-5 Years)
    New High School and Elementary School
    New wing at Robinson High School
  • Extended Term Projects (6-10 Years)
    Growth Management Solutions

 Capital Plan Highlights – presented by Mr. Farkas

  • Maintenance
    Painting, Fencing, Lighting, Windows, Roofing, Asphalt
    Painting and fencing is minimal the number one maintenance is AC and roofing.
    Painting and cocking is also very important as that helps with water intrusion.
  • New Construction /Renovations
    Additions/Replacements Projects
  • Yellow School Bus Purchases
    (100 replacements, 15-year plan) buying 100 buses a year

Construction Plan Projects – presented by Mr. Farkas

  • Sickles High School – New wing will be opening this Fall.
  • Robinson High School – New wing will be opening the following year.                

Capital Revenues – presented by Mrs. Saunders

  • Local 1.5 Mill Discretionary Capital Outlay- $134,602,560
  • Impact Fees from Hillsborough County- $68,466,247
  • Capital Outlay & Debt Service Revenue- $1,357,236
  • Community Investment Tax (CIT)- $5,000,000
  • Interest Earned-$425,000

Capital Expenses – presented by Mr. Farkas

  • Maintenance
  • New Construction/Renovations
  • Yellow School Bus Purchases
  • Portable Replacement, Relocation & Demolition
  • Health, Life, Safety, Environmental Corrections Sub-Total - $77,656,348
  • Debt Payments (COPs, QZABs, QSCBs) - $64,848,046
  • Total $135,631,170

 2002-2019 Property Value Handout- Gretchen bent over each column

 Debt Service -  presented by Mrs. Saunders

Principal & Interest Payment for:

  • COPs - owe 64.5 million
  • Qualified Zone Academy Bonds – owe 9.1 million
  • Qualified School Construction Bonds – owe 37 million
  • Sales Tax (Community Investment Tax)

Capital Budget –Points to Ponder – presented by Mrs. Saunders

•           Restoration of Capital Outlay Millage

             2.00, 1.75, 1.50, 2.00?

             2.00 mill reduction, increased deferred maintenance projects

•           General Obligation Bonds

             Long-Term Debt

             Voter Approved

             Paid by additional millage - Ad Valorem Taxes

•           Sales Tax Referendum

             School Capital Outlay Surtax –

                 ½ cent; 100% proceeds retained

             Local Government Infrastructure Surtax –

                 ½ cent or 1 cent; proceeds shared

 •           Impact Fees

               Current County Collections

               Surrounding County Programs

               Hillsborough County Future Growth

 •           Deferred Maintenance

             Pacific Partners Consulting Group* reported

             (2016 State of Our Schools Report – U.S. Green Building Council)

             $1 of deferred maintenance = $4 of future capital needs

             Across the United States deferred maintenance has grown into a

             $271-billion-dollar problem


Today’s Situation – presented by Mr. Farkas

  • Immediate Needs
    HVAC / Chiller Leasing (Short Term)

There was general discussion to include:

  • Community Support
  • Refinance Existing Debt (when possible)
  • Partnerships
  • Buildings, Boundaries, Backlog

In other discussion:

  • Restoring the Millage Rate from 1.5 to 2.0 percent to help with increase maintenance cost.
  • Board Members asks for the analysis of the Impact Fees of the surrounding counties.
  • Estimated cost of putting out a Referendum is 425 to 450 thousand, but the school district will work with a community group and is paid by donations, school district monies can’t be used for the Referendum.
  • Use Hurricane Harvey as example and propose that we use our partnership with government agencies as resources to help us collaborate to support each other.
  • Obtaining a list of school repair records from Mr. Farkas’s office.
  • Look into generating revenues by advertising as Orange County has done and been very successful.
  • The need to rebuilding this community for this district by talking to businesses, and the community as a whole, before going for a referendum.

With no further discussion, the workshop adjourned at 10:44 a.m. (Audio recording on file.)


HCPS publishes minutes of School Board meetings after Board approval. Although the online minutes do not include signatures, citizens may arrange to review the official documents by completing a public records request with the Communications Department.

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