Howard Bishop Middle School community lauds renovation work

Architect Paul Stresing talks about the design of the stage and cafeteria with Donna Jones, the deputy superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools, during the "Topping Out" ceremony of the renovation of Howard Bishop Middle School, on Thursday in Gainesville.

As Howard Bishop Middle School welcomes a new cafeteria and music suite at its ‘Topping Out’ ceremony, the Hawks continue to prepare for their new home.

The two-story building is undergoing massive reconstruction and renovation. The Thursday morning ceremony recognized the work being funded through the Half Cent for Schools sales tax, approved by voters in 2018.

Almost $29 million went toward construction and renovation, and $2.17 million for  design costs.

The speakers and guests, many smiling under their masks, gathered to share their thoughts about the process and signed a construction beam that would later be raised into place at the highest point of the campus’ new addition.

Among the beam-signers was Mike Gamble, the school’s principal. Gamble said the scope of this project impresses him every time he visits the site.