January 22, 2009

The $15.3 million replacement campus is dedicated in December

ORLANDO, Fla. (January 22, 2009) – Lakemont Elementary School has dedicated its new campus designed by C.T. Hsu + Associates.  The $15.3 million replacement campus was constructed on the school’s existing site located at 901 North Lakemont Avenue in Winter Park, Fla.  It is the first school in the Orange County Public School district to benefit from C.T. Hsu + Associates’ new urban elementary school prototype.

The firm utilized its two-story elementary school prototype with a tight footprint to deliver the 89,826 GSF needed to accommodate 758 students with the 11.37-acre site.  The design features three interlocking rectilinear bars grouped around a single secure courtyard, two two-story classroom wings and one single story building that houses core spaces.  Unlike ubiquitous multi-story “big box” elementary schools, the new Lakemont Elementary School brings day lighting into all instructional spaces and hallways. Shared activity spaces are provided on each floor of the classroom wings to allow team teaching and encourage greater interaction between students in different classes.  A two-story interior lobby functions as an academic “street” linking the two-story classroom wings with the single-story core spaces that also have exterior entrances to allow for off-hour community use.
The new school has redefined Lakemont’s learning environment and rekindled community enthusiasm, according to Principal Susan Stephens.  “On the first day of school, the children were just mesmerized when they walked in,” wrote Stephens on the school’s website.

The December 12, 2008 dedication began with a morning ceremony for students in front of the school.  Later, an open house for families and former students featured the school’s chorus as well as the Maitland Middle School Jazz Band.  Former students were invited to make ceramic wall tiles that will serve to bridge the traditions of the past with the school’s new beginning.  The day also included the release of more than 100 butterflies raised from caterpillars by the students as part of a school-wide study of the metamorphosis process.

C.T. Hsu + Associates (www.cthsu.com) is an Orlando-based architectural planning and design firm celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009.  A past “Firm of the Year” as selected by the American Institute of Architects - Florida Association, CTH+A focuses on a mix of mid to large scale projects in the education, government, transportation and mixed use development sectors.  Its multidisciplinary approach ranges from urban planning and design to architecture and interiors.  

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