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  Lehigh Acres Staging School, Page 20Lehigh Acres Staging School


1591 Haley Lane, #201, Fort Myers, FL 33907

Lehigh Acres, Florida
Total Square Feet: 100,000 
Construction Period: July 2004 to July 2005

GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Gulfpoint Construction Co., Inc. - 8791 Conference Drive, #1, Fort Myers, FL 33919 
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: TKW Consulting Engineers, Inc. - 5621 Banner Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33912
ELECTRICAL & MECHANICAL ENGINEER: OCI Associates, Inc. - 9728 Commerce Center Court, Fort Myers, FL 33908
CIVIL ENGINEER: WilsonMiller, Inc. - 3200 Bailey Lane, #200, Naples, FL 34105

As Florida struggles to meet the requirements set forth by its "No Child Left Behind" referendum, one viable "growth management" solution is being utilized. The solution incorporates the redesign of vacant "big box" retail facilities scattered across the state. These abandoned facilities range in size from 40,000 to 200,000 square feet. The open floor plan typically has a bay size of 30 x 30 to 30 x 40 square feet ideal for fitting classrooms into an existing grid. 

The School District of Lee County sought to take advantage of an existing abandoned K-mart structure to accommodate the immediate need for additional classroom space. The school is used as a temporary staging school. SchenkelShultz, designers of three other "big box conversions within the state of Florida," was given the task of converting the former Kmart building into a school flexible enough to accommodate kindergarten through 12th grade students.

This type of renovation can significantly reduce the overall cost of new materials. SchenkelShultz's "big box" conversion clients have saved 30 to 35%, compared with the average new-school costs of $110 to $130 square foot. Transforming asphalt into green space, and recycling existing building materials, offer a sustainability bonus. Even more appealing for most clients is the 50% reduction in construction time, with the facility being completed in less than a year. 

The project scope for the Lehigh Acres Staging School involves transforming the "big box" into an atmosphere conducive to learning, while adhering to a tight budget and time constraints. The 100,000-square-foot facility includes classrooms, administrative areas, a cafeteria and play areas on an 11 acre site. The school stages students for up to a year and is flexible enough to contain elementary students one year and high school students the next. The design accommodates 570 elementary, 728 middle or 794 high school students. When new, permanent schools have been built, the School District plans to use the building as an elementary school. 

Div. 07: Modified Bitumen: Siplast.
Div. 08: Windows: Winco; Overhead Coiling Doors: Cornell Iron Works.
Div. 09: VCT: Armstrong; Carpet: Interface.
Div. 16: Lighting: Columbia, Prescolite, Hubbell.

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