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© St. Petersburg Times
published April 7, 2002

Monitored construction resumes at YMCA site

TOWN 'N COUNTRY -- Work has partly resumed at the YMCA in Town 'N Country which was brought to a standstill by debris found at the construction site.

Environmental officials gave workers the go-ahead to construct the building pad, footers and building walls. Meanwhile, gas monitoring will continue to make sure there are no problems once the foundation goes down, said Ron Cope, general manager of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission's solid waste section.

"If we err at all we want to err on the part of conservatism," Cope said.

Dave Hollowell, vice president of construction for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA, said testing so far shows "absolutely nothing and we don't anticipate a big problem."

The 21,000-square-foot facility on Waters Avenue west of Sheldon Road is set to open this fall and will serve residents of Citrus Park, Countryway, Town 'N County and Westchase.

Namesake, family to be present at dedications

Two new elementary schools will be dedicated today, and guests of honor are expected at both events.

Educator Yvonne McKitrick plans to attend the 1:30 p.m. ceremony at the school in Lutz that was named after her. Following the dedication, guests can tour the campus and view artwork displays at the school, 5503 W Lutz Lake Fern Road.

In Tampa Palms, the daughter and granddaughter of a former governor will be on hand as the community officially welcomes Lawton Chiles Elementary School.

Rhea Chiles, daughter of the late governor; and his granddaughter, Annesley MacKinnon, will attend 4 p.m. ceremony at the school, 16541 Tampa Palms Boulevard W. A reception and open house will follow the dedication.

"We'll be unveiling a portrait of Lawton Chiles ... it was donated to us by the Chiles Foundation. It's one of the family favorites," said principal Sharon Beaubien.

Both elementary schools opened in August.

Hearing rescheduled to discuss school expansion

ODESSA -- A hearing about a proposed expansion by Carrollwood Day School was canceled Friday because not enough Land Use Appeals Board members were present to hear the case.

Chairman Michael Horner apologized to residents and school representatives. One member backed out at the last minute, he said, leaving the board with only three members and one short of the quorum needed to hold the meeting. He rescheduled the hearing for May 3.

Residents opposed to the $7-million expansion off Michigan Avenue filed their appeal in February after Land Use Hearing Officer Harold Youmans approved the project, which would add classrooms and ballfields south of the current facility on Lake Hiawatha. Youmans dropped his opposition when the county reinterpreted its definition of an elementary school to include kindergarten through Grade 8. That distinction meant the school would not have to be connected to a major road.

Some residents of both Hillsborough and Pasco counties fear the project will lead to greater traffic on Michigan Avenue, a narrow country road, and create the possibility that two schools will open on the road. But school officials say they plan to use the existing facility for extra classrooms and special events.

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