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School Board Selects Tampa Heights Elementary as New Name for Soon-to-be-Rebuilt Lee Elementary School

November 15, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tanya Arja
Office of Communications

Tampa, Fla. – (November 15, 2018) – The Hillsborough County School Board voted to select Tampa Heights Elementary as the new name of Lee Elementary at a special called School Board meeting on Thursday. Close to 100 names were submitted by the community for consideration.

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 design team and construction manager are now working with the insurance companies to finalize the 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.

According to School Board policy, school sites and facilities shall be named for individuals who have rendered outstanding public service to public education, for geographical locations, and for groups and clubs as indicated: elementary, middle, and secondary schools – for U.S. Presidents, school board members, educators, outstanding citizens and geographical locations. An elected official proposed for a school name shall have left public office for a period not less than five years. No candidate for public office shall be considered. No school site or facility shall be named for a living person.

This is the school’s third name in its 112-year history. The school was built by volunteers in 1906 as the Michigan Avenue Grammar School and was renamed Robert E. Lee Elementary in 1943. It became the district’s first magnet school in 1993.


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