By Eric Althoff
ATLANTA—Developer/builder Ryan Companies has delivered several new schools throughout the Southeast in conjunction with designer LAI Design Associates, LLC. Acting as the general contractor, the CRE firm completed four new charter schools this summer and will be constructing several more in the months and years to come. According to information released by the firm, five more school projects are on deck for work this fall as well. The ground-up space at these new schools encompasses 203,000 square feet of educational space, and the firm is also in the process of adding more than 250,000 additional square feet as part of the scope of its work.
The four completed educational facilities opened for the fall term are the ground-up schools Lakewood Ranch Preparatory Academy in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., and College Preparatory Academy at Wellen Park in North Port, Fla. Ryan Companies also completed renovations to two other schools, Innovation Prep Middle School in Wesley Chapel, Fla., and Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy in Youngsville, La.
For each of these individual projects, Ryan Companies’ duties entailed guiding district personnel through pre-construction and construction work as well as the entitlement process.
In addition to the work already finished, the experts at Ryan Companies are also ongoing in construction and renovation of several other schools in Florida, Tennessee and Louisiana. These include the new Rutherford Collegiate Prep in Gibson County, Tennessee, as well as expansions to Nashville Collegiate Prep Middle School in Antioch, Tenn., Acadiana Sports Complex in Youngsville, La., Winthrop Charter School and Early Learning Center in Riverview, Fla., and Acadiana Renaissance Charter Academy High School in Youngsville, La.
Among the features of the new schools are collaborative workspaces, break-out rooms, art rooms, music and theater instructional areas, and multi-use areas that can be utilized for dining as well as for after-school programs.
Max Bosso, vice president of real estate development at Ryan Companies, said that his firm’s track record in providing charter school construction and delivery in the field is exemplary, and thus the company was the right choice for these new schools.
“With K-12 decision makers having to navigate unfamiliar challenges, such as material delays and lender constraints, we’ve made it our mission to help them approach these issues in a way that keeps progress flowing and maintains on-time and within budget delivery,” said Bosso. “We are proud to build the classrooms of tomorrow, which play an integral role in promoting stability and prosperity for the surrounding communities in each of these school districts.”
Under an accelerated timeline, Ryan Companies was able to deliver several of these schools in 10 months versus the industry standard of a full year.
“Many of these charter schools have long wait lists, so they’re looking to grow their footprints to serve more students,” added Bosso. “From turning one-story schools into two-story schools to incorporating more adaptable spaces to accommodate future needs, we are engaged in all kinds of projects to improve capacity—and quickly.
“We have never delivered a school project late, which has enhanced our reputation in the regions we operate and enabled our activity in the sector to flourish.”
Ryan Companies, which was founded in 1938, now encompasses over 2,000 team members in 17 offices around the country. In 2023 alone, they are projected to complete 4 million square feet of educational space.