Orlando District Announces School Award, New Construction

ORLANDO, Fla. — Just one day after breaking ground on the new Oak Hill Elementary School, the Orlando-based Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) also celebrated a design award.

Oak Hill Elementary School is one of 13 new and replacement schools OCPS plans to open in August 2017. The Title I school’s groundbreaking ceremony took place on Jan. 25, and current estimates put the price tag at $18.9 million. The Orlando office of international architecture and engineering firm BRPH designed the school, which will be constructed by locally based Clancy & Theys.

The approximately 84,300-square-foot school will serve 650 students. Sitting on a 15-acre site, it will include standard administrative offices and classrooms as well as a multipurpose room/cafeteria, a media center, art and music labs, covered exterior walkways and play areas, and expanded student drop off areas. The secure campus will offer just one public entrance, while new classroom technology will include new computers and digital projectors.

On Jan. 26, OCPS also announced that its Downtown PS8 school in the Parramore neighborhood of Orlando was honored with a Trendsetter Award given by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Central Florida. The PreK-8 Downtown PS8 will not open to students until August and will not receive its official name for several more weeks; however, the award recognized the school as exemplifying “forward-thinking ideas and practices that represent what is perhaps the industry’s next big trend” for Central Florida in 2017, according to a statement by OCPS. The award was presented at ULI Central Florida’s Annual Trends Conference.

OCPS and local organizations including the Rosen Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Orange Blossom Family Health, Children’s Home Society of Central Florida, University of Central Florida and Valencia College have partnered to create Downtown PS8 school as an education and healthcare hub that will be in the forefront of revitalizing Parramore. The unique school will also be home to a medical and dental clinic, and will have the small-school feel of a K-8 facility. A preschool wing will serve two- and three-year-olds through a partnership with the Rosen Foundation, and college scholarships will be provided to PS8 graduates that go on to complete high school.

“This project has the chance to set the model that creates an academic core and competes for creative jobs on a national platform,” said ULI Central Florida District Chair Greg Witherspoon in a statement.