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Upgrades, renovations under way at Cape schools

By Staff | Jun 23, 2010

Schools in Cape Coral are undergoing a number of upgrades and renovations.
The Lee County School Board voted Tuesday to use additional funding from the Cape Coral Police Department’s 2006 Secure Our Schools grant, issued by the U.S. Department of Justice, to improve school security.
The grant funding was originally used to upgrade five schools with new security access technology, specifically the General Electric Access Control Diamond II Software, plus hardware and wiring costs, according to a school board memorandum.
But, an additional $71,285 leftover is now being appropriated to upgrade an additional four schools.
“Access to the grant funding will allow us to increase the number of schools affected to nine, without any additional expense to the district,” wrote Superintendent James Browder in a memorandum to the school board.
According to the memorandum, the total project cost for all nine schools is $158,190.
Many of the schools getting the upgraded security features are in Cape Coral, including Island Coast High, Ida S. Baker High, Cape Coral High, Trafalgar Elementary, Caloosa Middle and Gulf Middle.
The board also voted Tuesday for $15 million worth of renovations to Cape Coral High’s HVAC (air conditioning) system. The school will have its HVAC replaced, receive new storage tanks and the second floor gym will be remodeled with new varsity locker rooms.
The renovations planned for Cape High are split into three years. The district spent $3 million on Cape High this year, and will spend $5 million in 2011 and $7 million in 2012.
Mariner Middle will also receive a $250,000 renovation where dry storage will be added to its kitchen area and a wall will be constructed in the school’s Technology Ed Lab.
“All projects are funded from capital and will be used for continuing our upgrade of existing facilities to provide a safe and secure environment for staff and students,” wrote Browder in another memorandum to the board.
The district’s 2009-2010 capital fund is valued at $416 million.