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Check on the latest Alturas updates
As the school year comes to close, I would like to provide an update on the status of Alturas Elementary.
Several months ago, the district made a recommendation to temporarily relocate the students currently attending Alturas to a new school, until such time as the infrastructure for water and sewage could be installed locally. Since that time, the district has held several meetings with a smaller community-based committee regarding our concerns for the facility, and to explore options that would allow for Alturas Elementary to continue to serve the community.
At this time, we will maintain Alturas Elementary in its present state and location while waiting for newly approved housing developments to bring the necessary infrastructure closer to the school.
We estimate that approximately 5-7 years from now we will then move forward with either renovating or replacing Alturas Elementary in its current location.
To be clear, this plan remains fluid, and we will continue to focus on ensuring that we can support the Alturas campus safely for our students and staff. Over the next few years, we will need to manage the growth within the community to ensure that the school’s current resources (well water and the septic field) can sustain the number of students on site each day.
We are committed to supporting the needs of the Alturas community. As such, we plan to hold regular meetings with the committee to discuss updates on the situation, as well as any developing needs.
I hope this information helps you enter the summer months with less anxiety about the future of Alturas Elementary.
Polk County Public Schools
I want to make you aware of some discussions taking place regarding the future of Alturas Elementary.
Alturas Elementary, originally built in 1947, is a school with a rich history. Generations of students and staff members fondly recall their years spent on this campus. However, this aging facility is also becoming quite expensive to maintain.
Public utilities are not available at the school’s location. As a result, there are significant costs to keep its well safe for drinking and septic tank sanitary. Last year, maintenance costs for Alturas Elementary were roughly $110,000. By comparison, a school of similar size required about $40,000 in maintenance costs.
As superintendent, it is my responsibility to make sure we are efficiently and effectively using all available resources to provide a high-quality education to our community’s children in the best facilities possible.
During today’s work session, district staff and School Board members talked about the rising costs associated with keeping Alturas Elementary operational as a school site and the overall condition of the campus. One option being explored is transferring Alturas Elementary’s students and staff to a new school site being developed at the northwest corner of CR 653 and Old Bartow-Lake Wales Road.
Please understand that no final decision has been made at this time. This option has only been discussed and has NOT been voted upon by the School Board.
Before making any decision, we want to collect feedback from Alturas Elementary’s parents, staff members and other stakeholders. They will be invited to share their thoughts during a community meeting. We will schedule this meeting in the coming weeks.
Alturas Elementary parents will be notified of this meeting via an automated phone call, email and letter sent home with their child. It will also be posted to the school’s website.
I would encourage you to attend this meeting. Our goal is to best serve the students of our community while also being good stewards of our facilities and resources.
Strong student and parent engagement.
to Excellence in Teaching.