FleischmanGarcia was retained to design and build Durant High School by Hillsborough County, and was, at the time of its construction, the first new high school facility designed for Hillsborough County in more than thirteen years.
The original site, a citrus grove, is now home to a 300,000 sq. ft., two-story high school complete with sports facilities, and staff, visitor and student parking. A driver education track, wastewater treatment and well treatment facilities, as well as service and mechanical plant areas, are also a part of this school.
The project was designed utilizing an identifiable entry providing a sense of place, and a central courtyard surrounded by academic, covered dining and administration areas. The classrooms have been oriented north/south for energy efficiency.
The design includes a state-of-the-art, low temperature air conditioning system utilizing an underground ice-storage vault. This system has been recognized by Hillsborough County Schools as providing a very economical means of cooling, reducing humidity levels and eliminating the "sick building" syndrome that can often occur in public schools.
The state-of-the-art auditorium seats 900 and can be subdivided at the rear for smaller venues. There is a full proscenium working stage, a fly loft for scenery and professional theatrical lighting accessed by a cat walk in the ceiling.
This project was the recipient of the following awards:
14th AIA Tampa Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Design Award - Honorable Mention - 1996
15th Annual Hills City-County Planning Commission Community Design Award - 1996