The Leon County School Board has agreed to do sweeping renovations to Rickards High School.
For what seems like forever the Rickards community has been asking the School Board for some support in trying to get funds to renovate Rickards High School, most of the schools buildings have had little to no renovations since the school was built in the 60’s.
Superintendent of School’s, Rocky Hanna said he is excited to finally start renovating the school on the south side.
During the 2016 campaign season, the presidential race was not the only interest race, well at least not for those in Leon County. Rocky Hanna versus Jackie Pons for superintendent of schools was certainly entertaining.
The parents of Leon County Students, and specifically Rickards face a question of Rocky Hanna who wanted to spend a little less money and renovate the current Rickards High School, or Jackie Pons who wanted to incur more capital debt to build a completely new Rickards High School, then renovate the current Rickards High School, to be a new middle school.
When Hanna was asked about why he wanted to take what some viewed as a cheaper route, his answer was straightforward.
“I am concerned with the debt our school system has. But to add a $60 million school, and then another $10 or $11 million to turn Rickards into a middle school, is fiscally irresponsible.”
Money was not the only concern when it came to the Rickards Alumni Association; it was legacy, and history.
“From my understanding a new high school would be built under a different name than Rickards, and would serve the Rickards students. Current Rickards would be a middle school and the name would hold,” said Alumni Association member Bobby Gaines.
“So you’re eliminating the years of Rickards High School memories and history to a middle school, they have already forced us to change from Redskins, to Raiders, but now that I know my alma mater won’t be a middle school is awfully ensuring.”
The $50 million plan has to put to rest any possibility of a completely new school.
Well, Hanna won the elections and he has begun to deliver on his promise.
“During my run for superintendent, we made a promise to that community, to that school, and most importantly to those children, tonight is the first step in delivering on that promise.”
The Director of Facilities and Construction of Leon County, David Albritton said “phase one would begin as soon as this summer and the entire project will be completed by the start of the school year in 2021.”
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, when the project is completely finished the school’s softball and baseball fields are expected to be moved on campus. The tennis courts are also expected to be having a new home, and a new parking lot. Of course there will be new buildings.