HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County School Board unanimously voted to rebuild Lee Elementary Magnet School after a fire destroyed the school last year. 

Officials are now beginning to review plans and bids after negotiating with insurance companies to fully pay to rebuild. It is expected to cost more than 10 million dollars. 

The time for design and construction is usually 12 - 18 months for an elementary school but officials say Lee's unique circumstances may alter that time frame as architects and engineers design the building to deliver a modern learning environment on the inside with a continued historic spirit on the outside. 

The popular magnet school that focuses on technology and world studies was destroyed by a fire on September 12, 2018, shortly after power was restored to the neighborhood when Hurricane Irma swept through the Tampa Bay area. 

The fire marshal concluded the fire was accidental and caused by an electrical surge. Hurricane force winds tore away part of the school’s roof and persistent rains created water damage inside the building, likely creating the spark that resulted when power was restored. 

Students and staff from Lee Elementary have been sharing the campus of Lockhart Elementary ever since the fire.