Vice Mayor Believes Relocating Charter School ‘More Economically Feasible’ than Costly Repairs

Coral Springs Charter School

Coral Springs Charter School

By: Bryan Boggiano

The city commission discussed the possibility of either sinking more money into the 44-year-old Coral Springs Charter School building — or relocating.

On May 5, Robert Norris, director of public works, presented the cost of the school’s roofing repair needs to the city commission at approximately $499,000. However, it would need to be increased to meet current demand.

He requested the city amend the contract amount to almost $676,000 to allow for emergency repairs over the summer to fix a leaking roof while addressing other issues.

Established in 1999, the Coral Springs Charter School, located at the southeast corner of Sample and University in the former Coral Springs Mall, spans over 147,000 square feet. According to Norris, the total cost to replace the charter school roof would be roughly $3 million.

While the city commission unanimously approved the amendment, Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons noted that relocating the charter school would be more economically feasible than costly repairs.

“It’s like a car,” Simmons said in the meeting. “Do you keep dumping money into it, or do you get a brand new one to try to stave off all of the different repairs that are happening?”

He acknowledged that past talks about relocation caused controversy. In 2015 the city proposed moving the school to the parking lot of the Coral Springs Center for the Performing Arts. But, residents expressed concerns about traffic due to the proximity to Parkside Elementary, St. Andrew Catholic School, and multiple residential neighborhoods.

In 2017, another proposal suggested relocating to Betti Stradling Park, but residents strongly opposed the idea, and the city commission abandoned those plans.

In 2018, the city considered relocating to Mullins Park between the Coral Springs Gymnasium and the police and fire stations. The new location would have allowed more enrollment, but residents opposed the idea of taking green space.

While Simmons said he understands the reactions and deeply appreciates the city’s schools, he is thinking in the long term about the needs of students, teachers, and residents.

He said, “Until [relocation], we’re going to continue to see these large amounts of repairs coming back to us.”

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