TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Big changes are coming to a Tallahassee high school.
Leon County Schools shared more details about renovation plans at Rickards High at a student advisory council meeting Tuesday night.
Superintendent Rocky Hanna says improving Rickards is “long overdue.”
The school has been around for more than 50 years, and the district is ready to start a two-year project that will transform the campus.
After deciding against building a new high school on the Southside, the district focused on renovating Rickards. More than 35 million dollars has been earmarked.
In the first phase, ball fields will come back to campus, and crews will tear down one builiding and install a wing of 20 classrooms.
The project will add another classroom wing next summer and a courtyard.
The goal is to complete the project by the summer of 2020. Hanna said it's important for students to learn in a place that works best for them.
"Kids take pride in their school, and they want to say, 'Yes, I went to James S. Rickards High School, and I was very proud of that campus and very proud of the facility that I was educated in.' That's a big piece of it -- and to attract other students and people that move to town that want to go to that school," he said.
The district will also invest in updating Fairview Middle School. A new gym, cafeteria and administrative wing are in the works.
Hanna said the district won't have to borrow any money for these projects. It's one less thing to worry about -- while finally following through on what he said have been "empty promises" made in the past by district leadership.