The original La Benefica building was completed in 1922 and is a classic example of Mediterranean Revival architecture in Ybor City. Recognized as an expert in historic preservation, FleischmanGarcia was chosen by Hillsborough Community College to restore and renovate this jewel of Ybor City into HCC's Child Development Center. The 13,000 sq. ft. building now includes the following elements on the first floor:
- A day care facility for 80 children, staff and students who are enrolled in HCC's Child Development Program.
- Three large indoor classrooms with observation alcoves to allow for parents, student and instructors to observe their children.
- Support spaces for the day care facility, which includes a laundry room, kitchen and staff offices.
- A new porte cochere, which complements the existing building's Mediterranean Revival architecture and a reconfigured driveway to allow for children to be dropped-off safely.
- A 1,500 sq. ft. covered indoor play area.
- 4,000 sq. ft. of enclosed exterior play area with a "fall zone" area for play equipment, grass, shade trees, and exterior storage.
The second floor of the La Benefica building, which has its own entry and elevator, serves as a dance studio for HCC's dance program. The 3,000 sq. ft. dance studio has a sprung dance floor, mirrors, ballet barres and stage lighting. The dance studio is also used as a performance space for dance recitals.
The Child Development Center project is revitalizing a valuable piece of Ybor City's history and is a significant addition to HCC's Ybor City campus.
This project was the recipient of the 2004 Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission Award of Merit for Historic Preservation/Restoration