In Tampa, FL, Hillsborough County Public Schools has received a lot of attention recently for perceived overspending and mismanagement. School officials have vouched for their spending in reaction to criticism from Richard Corcoran, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

Despite the controversy, much of the overall spending is necessary. Hillsborough County, which serves Tampa and the surrounding communities, is the eighth largest school district in the nation, with more than 203,500 students in 279 schools.

Spending on Maintenance Contracts Necessary to “Keep the Lights On”

Hillsborough County, Tampa and other cities nearby frequently issue contracts for work that centers on operations and maintenance to ensure proper upkeep of educational facilities. Typically, a large portion of these contracts focus on such services as heating and air conditioning services, electrical work, cleaning and painting services—the necessities for “keeping the lights on” in any building, including schools.

Here are a few recent examples sourced from Onvia’s B2G Intelligence System:


Hillsborough County Public Schools Seeks Design and Construction Management Services

The school district issued a bid in June 2017 for design and construction management services work valued at $49 million as it builds a new 2,500-student high school. The project scope involves the engineering, design and construction of a new high school facility on a green field site in Southern Hillsborough County. Companies who specialize in facility maintenance work should be outreaching to the agency now, as well as the awarded design and construction management firm, to get the jump on winning long-term lucrative maintenance contracts.


Hillsborough County School District Awards Roofing Contract

Service Works Commercial Roofing received a $3.2 million contract from the Hillsborough County School District in 2016 to service four schools, including heating and air conditioning maintenance and/or replacement.

IT Investments for Florida Schools

The Hillsborough County School Board has received complaints from teachers and parents about a $336,000 upgrade to its boardroom auditorium. The board is replacing its cameras and recording equipment used for broadcasting meetings. The school district said much of its equipment is more than 25 years old and many cameras and other pieces of technology no longer work properly.

While people have complained about the boardroom, they are generally OK with technology investments inside classrooms that keep students acquainted with new technologies and provide relevant experience for an IT-driven job market. Like their counterparts nationwide, schools in the area have issued the majority of IT-related contracts for the basics: Internet services providers, network services, computer products and electronic supplies. Here are a few examples:


Hillsborough County School District Awards Fortinet Reseller

In 2016, Hillsborough County School District awarded Mission Critical Systems Inc., a reseller of Fortinet IT products, a one-year, $286,486 contract for applications software, maintenance and upgrades, Internet services, webpage design and support services.


Hillsborough County Awards Vendor of K-12 Classroom Software

The county also awarded an $18,000 contract to Teaching Strategies LLC for K-12 teacher training classroom software in January 2017.

Higher Education Spending in Florida

Florida’s educational spending isn’t limited to K-12 school districts. Higher education institutions also spend millions on contracts each year.

Here’s a recent example from the University of South Florida in Tampa. The University spent $7.05 million in 2016 on INTO Pathway student services for administrative fees, educational and other miscellaneous services. The Pathway services aid students who need language support and academic preparation to succeed in achieving an undergraduate degree.

Public universities in Florida may get an additional “positive jolt”—as the Tampa Bay Times described it—of millions in additional funds, after Florida Gov. Rick Scott vetoed a higher education reform bill in June. He said the measure would have impeded state colleges from providing access to low-cost, quality education.

Despite education spending being a controversial topic throughout the Sunshine State, school districts and higher education institutions are awarding contracts to companies for products and services that aren’t limited to textbooks and pencils. They still have a need to spend in areas going beyond the classroom.

Get More Regional Contracting Insights at “Onvia On Tour” in Tampa on September 12th, 2017

Pursuing government contracts with the State of Florida or other agencies in the state like the Hillsborough County School District?

Register to join us for “Onvia On Tour” in Tampa on September 12th, 2017. This complimentary event is designed to help business professionals develop their go-to-market strategies and accelerate their public sector sales. Featured speakers include:

  • Brad Laws, Sr. Manager State & Local Government Sales, United Rentals
  • Daniel Cunningham, Government Bid Specialist, United Rentals
  • Larry Bernstein, Project Manager, Spectrum Enterprise
  • Gregory Spearman, Chief Procurement Officer, City of Tampa
  • Chris Woerner, SVP of Product, Onvia

Register for “Onvia On Tour” in Tampa