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Polk County Public Schools will host a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday (Sept. 15) for Southwest Middle’s major modernization project.

This $55-million project is expected to be completed in February 2024 and will encompass more than 183,000 square feet, essentially creating a totally new campus for Southwest Middle, 2815 Eden Parkway in Lakeland. Once the modernization is complete, most of the aging structures will be demolished with the exception being the physical education facility, gymnasium, and a science building.

News media are invited to attend. RSVPs are not necessary; however, they’re appreciated for planning purposes. You can RSVP by emailing

Thursday’s event will begin at 2 p.m. at the groundbreaking site, located along the northwest corner of the campus (near the intersection of South Lincoln Avenue and Dove Ridge Drive). See the attached map for further directions to the groundbreaking site.

You do NOT need to check in at the front office just head to the groundbreaking site.

Parking will be available near the groundbreaking site. Please consider wearing comfortable shoes, as the ceremony will be taking place in a grassy and sandy area.

This project is made possible by impact fees as well as Polk County’s half-cent sales tax, which voters renewed in 2018.

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