Rodney Turner was instrumental in building the PCPS of today, and now, his name will forever be part of our district.
Turner, the late senior construction coordinator for PCPS, was honored this morning during a naming ceremony at Bartow High. Friends, family and colleagues were on hand as the school officially unveiled the signage at Turner Hall and the Rodney M. Turner School of Construction.
The new building, part of an ongoing expansion at BHS, is home to the school’s Academy of Architecture, Construction and Engineering. It was a fitting tribute for a man who cared deeply about his work for PCPS.
“The care, the love that he put into every project — it wasn’t about the building, it was about who came into the building,” Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd said.
Turner died on Sept. 28. Today would have been his 57th birthday.
During his career with PCPS, Turner worked as an architectural specialist, architectural supervisor, and project coordinator. In his final position as senior construction coordinator, he managed major construction projects for the district, which at the time of his death included three elementary schools and two high schools.
Byrd praised Turner as a diligent, detail-oriented professional who was always reassuring, even in the face of setbacks. One of his familiar responses was, “I’ll take care of it. Don’t worry.”
Turner’s friends, family and co-workers gathered under a tent outside Bartow High on Friday morning, sitting around tables decorated in Miami Dolphins colors — his favorite team.
Turner “impacted our lives in such a powerful and wonderful way,” said PCPS Deputy Superintendent John Hill.
Byrd called Turner “a great man … a great friend.”
“I am so glad that he crossed my path,” she said, pausing briefly. “I am so blessed that he crossed my path.”
The Rodney Turner Memorial Scholarship has been established at the Polk Education Foundation. It will benefit students studying in the district’s construction academies. Donations may be mailed to the Polk Education Foundation at 1530 Shumate Drive, Bartow, FL 33830; or online at polkeducationfoundation.org. Donors should include Rodney Turner’s name when making donations.