The approximately 40,000-sq.-ft. project will replace the 12 existing classrooms with new, structures to better serve the needs of the school’s nearly 60 students ranging across all ages in grades K-12.
Skanska, a global construction and development firm, was selected to spearhead the campus replacement at the Dorothy Thomas Exceptional Center, a Hillsborough County public school in Tampa, Fla., that is dedicated to serving students in need of emotional and behavioral support.
Construction began in March of this year with completion slated for August 2023.
The approximately 40,000-sq.-ft. project will replace the 12 existing classrooms with new structures to better serve the needs of the school's nearly 60 students ranging across all ages in grades K-12.
The goal is to deliver a school campus that will meet the needs of students who learn best in a supportive and safe environment, free of auditory and visual distractions.
"As a builder, we take great pride in building educational projects to serve our communities," said Michael C. Brown, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska Florida. "As we work to complete the Dorothy Thomas Exceptional Center project, our hope is that the delivery of this new campus and its classrooms will set the standard for exceptional centers in the Tampa Bay region and beyond."
Designed by Fleischmann-Garcia Architecture, the educational project will incorporate many design features that take into consideration the students' needs, including having windows placed higher up to allow for ample natural light, while minimizing any visual distractions. The new classroom spaces also will feature muted shades of blue, green, yellow and natural colors that are more calming and appeasing to the student population.
The project's logistics also are exceedingly complex, as construction of the new facilities will take place on an active K-12 school campus. Before building began, the Skanska team relocated the in-use, existing classrooms to the other side of the campus before starting the construction work. The building team will closely monitor the noise levels of its operations as some of the students may be sensitive to loud noises.
Skanska has constructed some of Tampa Bay's most impactful construction projects in recent years including the University of South Florida Health's Morsani College of Medicine & Heart Institute at Water Street Tampa, which is located just a few blocks from another Skanska-delivered project the Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park. Currently, Skanska is working on the renovations of the Tampa Convention Center and also is building the new park Imagine Clearwater and Florida Polytechnic University's Applied Research Center.
Designed by Fleischmann-Garcia Architecture, the educational project will include a sensory garden.
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