NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – On May 29, New Smyrna Beach celebrated the groundbreaking of the artsy new Chisholm Elementary School, a $20.7 million project aiming to debut its first phase in August 2019.
The new replacement school has two phases of construction and will be built on the current campus while the existing school continues to operate. The first phase includes a two-story classroom building, a “cafetorium,” media center and administration building. The second phase of construction will commence upon occupancy of Phase I and will include a second classroom building and physical education pavilion. Upon completion, the school’s courtyard will include an elevated concrete platform for alfresco performances, and the art room will have an outside patio facing the courtyard. The second grade’s classroom gardens will be outside their classroom building in the courtyard area.
The design of the new school echoes some of the hottest trends for a 21st century facility incorporating collaborative learning areas, safety and security features, and technology throughout the school — and the design process was actually influenced by students, parents, faculty, staff and the community.
“This is such an exciting time for the New Smyrna Beach community,” said Chisholm Elementary School’s Principal Craig Zablo. “Our new school will be a state-of-the-art facility that will be able to accommodate 750 students, the design will reflect the beauty and sensibilities of life in New Smyrna Beach, and it will be a great resource for our community.”
Several architectural elements will provide a nod to the school’s history and New Smyrna Beach’s location on the Florida coast. The school’s front exterior will feature an ocean wave and use coastal colors, a nod to the entry feature signs on US 1 and SR 44 in New Smyrna Beach. The reception area will include a display meant to showcase the heritage of the historic Westside neighborhood and Chisholm School, which was once the designated high school for the black community.
In tribute to the significance of the arts in Volusia County’s schools as well as the prominent role of the arts in New Smyrna Beach, two wall murals will also be displayed in the front reception area to showcase local artists and the school’s art teacher, Steve Hardock.
The new school will be larger than the current school and be able to accommodate a minimum of 750 students. It will be the second to be built with funds from the half-cent sales tax extension. The first one being built is a replacement school for Pierson Elementary that will open August 2018.
Chisholm Elementary will be located at on a 24-acre site and the facilities will take up 94,000 square feet of space. Designed by Rhodes + Brito Architects and built by H.J. High Construction — both companies based in Orlando — the new school has a targeted opening date of August 2019.