Overcrowding at area schools is providing a boon for builders whose latest opportunity is the Audubon Park K-8 project.
An influx of new residents, as well as general growth, has Orange County Public Schools bidding out several school projects.
In this case, the Audubon school is being built to relieve overcrowding at the existing Audubon Park Elementary School, as well as Glenridge Middle School.
The new Audubon will be located where a closed school currently stands, at 1500 Falcon Dr., south of Corrine Drive.
The new school will become the latest district school to help alleviate population expansion in the last couple of years. Lake Nona is one of the more dramatic examples, with a second middle school planned just four years after the first one went in. In fact, more than 100 schools are being replaced or renovated with a half cent tax sales tax that county residents twice approved. Many of these schools are in poor shape and need repairs or even demolition, and others are seeing the wear of the area's growth.
When all is said and done, the new school will take the Audubon name and the school that now carries the Audubon moniker will be renamed. A new name has not been chosen yet.
The project budget is $42.7 million.
The project involves demolishing a former school that is presently being used as a swing site.
Four buildings with a gross floor area of 160,000 square feet will go up. Also planned for the 14-acre site is a 212 space parking garage.
Bids are due Jan. 14, with construction expected to begin in mid-February and wrap up at the end of May 2017.
The project is in keeping with the school district’s efforts to involve women, minorities and developing businesses.
General contractor Welbro Building Corp., in its bid documents, says it wants women and minority businesses to account for 23 percent of the bid package’s amount and local developing businesses to make up 10 percent of the total cost of the purchasing contracts.
The amount compares with 12 percent the school district wants provided to minorities or women-owned businesses and the 10 percent for local developing businesses. A school spokeswoman said the district has been taking the approach for some time with contractors.
The project includes site work, fencing, doors, windows, drywall, basketball courts and equipment, tot and youth play lots, landscaping and irrigation, sidewalks, waterproofing, roofing acoustical ceilings and wall panels, carpeting and painting.