NEW PORT RICHEY — The final phase of a $12.6 million Schrader Elementary reconstruction project got underway this week after the school board approved an deal with contractor Cutler Associates Inc.
The 40-year-old school on Little Road was mostly torn down to make way for a new building that will rise in its place.
Only a 16-classroom addition that was completed in 2003 remains. Portable classrooms were moved to the property to house most of the 550 students, their teachers and other staff members as this school year unfolds with part of the campus a construction zone.
The project, expected to be ready for the 2014-15 school year, is to include 24 classrooms, a music suite, an art suite, media center, cafeteria, administrative suite and a covered play area.
In recent years, several older Pasco schools have undergone similar projects that essentially transformed them into new schools, including Stewart Middle, Pasco Middle, Pasco High and Richey Elementary.
Two schools — Quail Hollow Elementary and Shady Hills Elementary — have been temporarily closed for two years while they undergo major renovations.
The district also is working on a plan to issue more than $100 million in bonds that would pay for three years of school construction projects, including new schools and improvements to old ones.
Once the Schrader project is finished, those portable classrooms aren’t going anywhere.
Bayonet Point Middle is next door and is expected to undergo a major renovation next year, so that school will make use of the portables, Assistant Superintendent Ray Gadd said.