An e-Newsletter for the Clients and Friends of C.T. Hsu + Associates, P.A.

April 2005


Master Plan and Restoration of Boone High School
Orlando, Florida

Neighboring Boone High and Blanker Elementary schools south of downtown Orlando were in dire need of expanded and updated facilities. The Orange County School Board acquired 25 acres of land adjacent to the high school to renovate and enlarge the landlocked and cramped schools and hired C.T. Hsu + Associates to develop a master plan to revitalize and re-energize the historic Orlando high school originally built in 1952.

Despite CTH+A's vast experience in the architectural design of both new school construction and the modernization of pre-existing education facilities, the Boone renovation project was among the firm's most challenging - and ultimately, most rewarding.

"The great opportunity and vision of the project was to create a new educational district within the City that fulfilled the community's sometimes very diverse goals - recreation and educational needs. It is very rare to have a site with multiple users that can be completely reorganized into a greater overall master plan," explains Tim McNicholas, principal at CTH+A.

The project involved renovating the entire campus to address the following issues common to so many public schools today: improved learning, capacity, accessibility, security, curb appeal and school image.

  • Improved learning - New buildings house a music suite near the school's auditorium, a foreign language department with 11 classrooms, a computer lab, teacher planning spaces and a college and career center. Four new art labs, 8 new science labs, and 16 new math classrooms.
  • Capacity - Portables were removed, several buildings were demolished and new facilities were added.
  • Accessibility - Vehicular and pedestrian circulation patterns were enhanced by a swooping entrance canopy that is inviting to visitors and students with ground and upper level access from the bus and parent drop-off/pick-up loops. A new academic courtyard served as a gathering place and anchored an enhanced network of covered and multilevel walkways and bridges that reduced crowding.
  • Security - Student safety was a driving force in the design of the master plan for Boone High School, beginning with a clear separation between the vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Building position, entrance orientation and courtyard forms were studied for optimal supervision and control. The plan incorporates limited entry points, and a two-tiered security envelope with decorative fencing around the core academic areas and perimeter fencing around the athletic fields and parking areas beyond. Video surveillance also was an important feature of the overall security concept.
  • Curb appeal and school image - The entrance to the school was reoriented to the north side of the campus with two new buildings - a two-story administration building and one story arts building - framing the school's new front entrance. Other new buildings were sited on the campus' perimeter to provide a fresh image to the surrounding community.

The campus master plan also included the following components:

  • A new blended K-8 Blankner Elementary School relocated to an appropriately sized site on the newly acquired land
  • New athletic courts and fields for both schools placed in close proximity to Wadeview Community Center to allow for shared use

Boone High School Principal Hugh Hattabaugh described the master plan and renovation, "a blending of original buildings and new structures with outstanding creativity and functionality that resulted in an efficient and safe educational facility for our school's 3,375 students and 250 employees."

CTH+A considers the master plan and reconstruction of Boone High School its most rewarding school project to-date. The reasons are many. The project was completed under budget. The schools' neighbors are benefiting from access to a new community sports complex and enhanced property values. The American Institute of Architecture Orlando Chapter recognized the firm for its work with an Award of Honor for Design Excellence in 2004.

From a broader perspective, the project that produced what Principal Hattabaugh calls "a facility ready for the 21st century" has raised the bar for all future work in the district's multi-billion dollar school building program, according to Orange County Public Schools Chief Facilities Officer Patrick Herron. And, perhaps most importantly, it illustrates how a community can benefit when public and private sectors work together.

All images and articles copyright © 2008 C.T. Hsu + Associates, P.A.

C.T. Hsu + Associates, P.A.
820 Irma Avenue • Orlando, FL 32803 • 407 423 0098 • Fax 407 423 4793

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CT Hsu + Associates, P.A.