Skanska Completes Renovations and Additions at Florida Middle School

By Eric Althoff

PALMETTO, Fla.—International construction and development first Skanska has completed its expansion work at Buffalo Creek Middle School, which was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by staff, students and members of the Manatee County School Board.

The construction and renovation work entailed a new two-story media and instruction building comprising TV production studios, eight classrooms and a media center. Skanska was also charged with converting the former media center into new classroom spaces for instruction in such fields as robotics, business and engineering.

Skanska worked in collaboration with Zyscovich Architects on the $12 million workload needed at Buffalo Creek Middle School. Some of the funding came from a half-cent sales tax approved by Manatee County voters in 2016 to address multiple improvements, including to the district’s educational infrastructure.

“The impact of this new building will benefit students at Buffalo Creek Middle School for the next generation and beyond,” Principal Bradley Scarbrough said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We are in an area experiencing exceptional growth, and these expanded facilities will help us meet the needs of today’s students, as well as tomorrow’s.”

“The modern design and construction of the new media center is the result of a true partnership between our team, the school district of Manatee County and the architect,” Daniel Abou-Jaoude, vice president of Skanska USA Building, said at the ceremony. “This expansion of the campus will provide students and staff with an innovative space that fosters hands-on learning and encourages creativity and exploration for years to come.”

In a subsequent statement to School Construction News, Keith Hendry, senior project manager at Skanska USA, said that the true measure of the benefit of an educational project such as Buffalo Creek is how it ultimately works for the end user.

“Our team, together with the project architect, worked closely with the faculty and staff at Buffalo Creek Middle School and the School District of Manatee County to truly understand the needs of the students and teachers, taking the time to do a ‘page flip’ with all stakeholders to ensure the end product was something that everyone could use,” Hendry said. “To best understand how to implement the new technology across the campus additions, Skanska finalized the construction of one classroom and invited all stakeholders to test out the room.

“This way, our team identified potential kinks and adapted the layout as necessary before implementing it across all classrooms. This allowed us to ensure the project remained within the outlined budget and timeline and deliver a product with high usability.”

“We are excited and happy for the students, staff and families at Buffalo Creek Middle,” said Superintendent Jason Wysong. “First-class facilities and tremendous teachers are a powerful combination, and we’re glad to bring the two together to benefit Buffalo Creek.”