Sumter schools moving ahead with vision for Sumterville property

Sumter County Schools’ sports facilities also are receiving face-lifts. Wildwood Middle High School’s football stadium was completely rebuilt this summer.

The transportation and facilities departments of the Sumter County School District are getting a new home in Sumterville.

The new facilities are just one of the updates in store for Sumter County Schools, with potential new campuses and big renovations in the works.

Eric Suber, director of school support services for Sumter County Schools, presented the plans for the new facilities at a Sumter County School Board meeting earlier this year. 

“We are in planning stages now and would probably not start any type of construction until 2023 and finish in 2024,” Suber said. 

The current location for the facilities department was built in the gymnasium of the now-defunct Bushnell High School. 

“Our building here at facilities is almost 100 years old,” Suber said. “It’s in terrible shape and would need a complete renovation that would almost cost as much as a brand new building.”

The new facility would include a new warehouse and bus garage, Suber said. And according to draft plans, the site also would have a bus wash and fueling station. 

In total, the expected cost is about $7 million for the new facility. 

The property where the facility will be built is currently agricultural fields managed by Wildwood Middle High School’s and South Sumter High School’s National FFA Organization chapters. It is located next to Lake-Sumter State College’s Sumter Center in Sumterville. 

Plans also show space for a consolidated middle high school and elementary school with sports stadiums. 

This is one of many renovations the district is looking to pursue.

Other planned renovations include adding classroom buildings at Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School and Bushnell Elementary School as well as cafeteria expansions at Wildwood Elementary School. 

Over the summer, crews worked on lighting projects at Wildwood and Bushnell elementary schools. The Wildwood project was projected to cost more than $660,000, with the Bushnell project costing $600,000.

Sumter County Schools’ sports facilities also are receiving face-lifts.

The football stadiums at Wildwood Middle High School and South Sumter High School had some of the largest sports facility projects planned.

Wildwood Middle High’s stadium was completely rebuilt this summer; its former stadium was built in 1981. 

Artificial turf is soon to be installed at South Sumter’s Inman Sherman Football Field.

The gymnasiums at South Sumter Middle School, South Sumter High School and Wildwood Middle High School were renovated last school year, at a cost of $3.7 million. 

For more information on the Sumter County School District, visit sumter.k12.fl.us.

Staff writer Garrett Shiflet can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5367, or garrett.shiflet@thevillagesmedia.com.