The Hillsborough County School District has received the first sales tax check from the Education Referendum that Hillsborough County that residents approved back in November. The check, in the amount of $9 million, is from January sales tax collections. This now paves the way for major projects at traditional district schools in every area of our county. It is ready to deliver on its Half-Penny Promise to taxpayers.

The projects across our district will be spread over the next 10 years as the state collects and sends the money to the district. The district’s facilities and maintenance teams have been working behind the scenes for the last five months to select companies who will carry out the work and begin initial planning and design for the first phase of projects. The district teams created a plan of 1,785 total projects over the 10 years of the Education Referendum, focusing on high priority needs.

The first of the largest projects, including 21 air conditioner replacements and millions of dollars in roof repairs, will begin over the summer, when students and staff are off campus—as crews of sometimes more than 100 workers complete the work. Other, smaller projects will begin soon after depositing this first check.

The independent Citizen Oversight Committee, led by former State Education Commissioner Betty Castor and Sheriff Chad Chronister, has been reviewing each of the projects and spending before the work is submitted to the School Board for final approval.

It will still take time to complete these projects; however, the overwhelming support by the people of Hillsborough County shows a true commitment and support for the students, teachers and staff at every school.

For more information on Hillsborough County Schools, visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us/.