Insurance to cover rebuild of Lee Elementary, district says

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After a year of negotiating with the school district's insurance companies, Hillsborough County is finally getting the money to rebuild Lee Elementary.

A devastating fire last September engulfed the magnet school shortly after power was restored to the neighborhood following Hurricane Irma.  The fire marshal says it was caused by an electrical surge. 

For a year, the school has sat vacant.  But now officials say they have insurance money to rebuild it. The integrity of the historic building -- originally erected in 1906 -- will stay, but parts of the inside will be gutted and rebuilt to modern safety codes and standards.

School officials say it will cost somewhere around $10-million to $14-million to rebuild it, but there is a silver lining.

“The bottom line is no dollars are coming out of the public school system to pay for the rebuild of Lee Elementary School,” the district’s Chris Farkas stated.

On October 16, an official recommendation to rebuild will be brought before the school board.  If that's approved, the construction manager will work with design partners to move forward.