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Tampa Heights Elementary Magnet Renovation Project

Welcome to the Tampa Heights Elementary Magnet School Renovation Project site, where you will find photos and updates from our Build and Design team.

Building Tampa Heights Elementary Magnet for the Next Century

The Construction Manager—JE Dunn Construction—and the Design Professional—Fleischman Garcia selected to work on the rebuild are now working with the Operations Construction and Planning Department to come up with a design that will integrate the school’s historic façade with the elements of a modern school inside. The designers and district will continue to seek community input on what the school will ultimately look like.


The Building and Fire Code require the use of non-combustible material for a 3-story school. Other products such as luxury vinyl tile have wood look designs which can be used in lieu of actual wood floors, and will be considered in the new design.

All 3 model concepts provide controlled access to the building during school hours. Other safety measures will be applied to the design as the design progresses.

The rebuild of Tampa Heights Elementary School is funded as an insurance claim.

The dining room and multi-purpose room are open to each other to maximize the number of students during lunch periods and events. The proposed cafeteria and multi-purpose room space can hold up to 200 people in a seated, lecture configuration or more than 400 people standing. Different furniture arrangements will be included in the plans to show different, possible layouts.

Yes, the school will be designed to meet the latest building and fire codes including impact rated windows and a fire sprinkler system.

Unfortunately, the site is bound on all 4 sides and does not allow for significant expansion.

Option A has been selected by the School District and the Design Team for several reasons: The central stairs provide a clear path of connection between levels and also, promote interaction and collaboration between students. Classrooms are spread on all 3 levels, starting with Kindergarten on Level 1 and higher grades as you move up. This layout is consistent with the ethos of the school.

Currently, we are projecting construction to be completed by November 23rd, 2020. The Design Team and Construction Team are working together to fast track the process and, possibly, improve the move in date.

The design phase started in October 2018 and is projected to be completed in August 2019. The construction phase will start in June 2019, with demolition of the interior and the construction of the structural skeleton concurrently with the design phase. The construction phase is projected to be completed prior to the November 2020, occupancy date.

The Design Team organized the new design around the 7 Wonders theme (Leadership, Innovation, Economics, Environment, Wellness, Communication, and Culture). The new design includes a flexible learning environment, a ‘learning corridor’ with display areas, seating, writable surfaces, consideration for daylight, playful colors, material textures, acoustics, and a 3-story connector at the heart of the school. The environs outside of the building will be activated with exterior dining areas, a green courtyard, outdoor classroom, and community garden.

The Design Team is restoring the three main façades, west, front and east, to their original design.

The insurance company has indicated they will be obligated to pay for the cost of replacing the school to current code requirements.

Parentlinks, social media posts on twitter @HCPSoperations , @HCPSarea4, @HCPS, and Tampa Heights Construction webpage including a link on a school website

School administration and a variety of district departments will make decisions on these topics.

Colors and mascot will be determined with input from students, staff, families, and the community.

There will be 398 student stations.

The administration will be located on level 1 / ground level.

At this time, we are only providing for the replacement of the original school, therefore there is no cover for court area factored into the budget.

The classroom square footage is comparable to the previous classroom sizes and follow the Florida State Requirements for Educational Facilities.

Kindergarten classrooms are required to be on the main, ground level of the school.


April 27, 2020

This is the latest rendering from the architect. The school is still on schedule for completion.

April 17, 2020

The renovation project at Tampa Heights continues even while our schools are closed. Workers are moving full speed ahead building the roof this week. The project remains on schedule, with a November 2020 completion date. Students and teachers are slated to begin January 2021 in the new building.

See photos >>

February 13, 2020

We want to provide parents and staff at Tampa Heights Elementary with an update on building progress of the new school. Builders and architects have provided a landscaping plan along with the most updated site plan for parents and staff to view. The project remains on schedule, with a November 2020 completion date. Students and teachers are slated to begin January 2021 in the new building. Please check back to this website periodically for the latest updates.

March 14, 2019
Schematic Design Documents from Fleischman Garcia

Schematics reflects the following:


  • Visitor parking with entry through the Administration only, for safety
  • Enhanced Pedestrian connections to all four sides
  • Landscape buffer between the Play Field and Columbus Drive
  • Relocated Peace Garden and Community Garden
  • Relocated Playcourt with new shade structure
  • Additional trees for shade on Play Field
  • Activate courtyard with Amphitheater


  • Three story vertical connector at entry, visible from Administration
  • Communal tiered seating under and around the main stairs
  • (3) Kindergarten classrooms connected to Play field for healthy play
  • Music classroom connected to Stage
  • Dining and Multi purpose room combined to seat 252 for dining or 350 for event
  • Media Center, Reading Resource, Testing Lab, and Art Classroom located on level 2 in central location
  • ‘Learning Corridor’ with display areas, writable surface, reading nook

December 21, 2018
Schematic Design Documents from Fleischman Garcia
Schematic design is the first phase of basic services for project design. At this stage in a project, the design professional describes the project three-dimensionally. A range of alternative design concepts are explored to define the character of the completed project and an optimum realization of the project program.

December 12, 2018
Tampa Heights Elementary Build and Design Presentation
Families, staff and community members attended the informative Build and Design Community Meeting. This wan an informative community meeting to provide an update on the progression of the Tampa Heights Elementary restoration project.


More than a year ago, at the School Board’s request, the district began the process to rename the school. Then on September 12, 2017, the devastating fire after Hurricane Irma destroyed the school. On October 16, 2018, the School Board voted to rebuild the school, after the district negotiated full payment for the building from its insurance companies.

The community sent in their name recommendations, and on November 15, 2018 the Hillsborough County School Board voted to select Tampa Heights Elementary as the new name of Lee Elementary. Close to 100 names were submitted by the community for consideration.

Photo of Lee Elementary

Division of Operations


No meetings scheduled at this time.

Past Events >>


Tampa Heights Elementary School


Building Use: Elementary School

Total Square Footage: 51,941Sqft

# Student Stations: 398

Number of Floors: 3 stories

Funding Source: Insurance

Estimated Cost: $16 Million- zero cost to the district

Type of Project: Renovation Rebuild

Build Design Schedule:

  • Scheduled Design Phase:
    October 2018 - August 2019

  • Scheduled Construction Phase:
    June 2019

  • Scheduled Completion Date:
    November 2020


Follow us on Twitter @HCPSoperations


Construction Professionals:
JE Dunn
JE Dunn Construction

Design Professionals:
Fleischman Garcia
Fleischman Garcia

Division of Operations, Planning and Construction

Chuck Plante, Senior Project Administrator

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