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This master plan for the 63-acre school campus on Michigan Avenue in St. Cloud shows a new elementary and middle school. Two existing classroom buildings would remain and be remodeled.
This master plan for the 63-acre school campus on Michigan Avenue in St. Cloud shows a new elementary and middle school. Two existing classroom buildings would remain and be remodeled. (Osceola County Schools)

The Osceola County School District is in the market for an architectural prototype design to replace the county's oldest elementary school - Michigan Avenue Elementary in St. Cloud.

The district's purchasing department posted a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for architectural and engineering services on Friday for the school prototype to accommodate 948 students -- up from the current 600 student capacity.

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"It will not be your traditional, stand-alone prototype," Facilities Director Marc Clinch told GrowthSpotter on Friday. The district wants a "kit-of-parts" prototype with plans for a separate kitchen and cafeteria building and the flexibility to move the media center, administrative offices and various elements to fit the site.

The MAES project was priority number one in the half-cent sales tax referendum Osceola County voters approved last November. The district has a tentative budget of $21.6 million.  But the Florida Department of Education must agree to a waiver allowing the county to demolish the 46-year-old school before the project can move forward.

The bid due date is March 27. Clinch said the district wants a set of plans ready to go within six months for construction to start in December. The new school is slated to open in January 2019, after the winter break.

Michigan Avenue Elementary School was built in 1972. A replacement school will be built in 2018 and open in time for the 2019-2020 school year.
Michigan Avenue Elementary School was built in 1972. A replacement school will be built in 2018 and open in time for the 2019-2020 school year. (Osceola County Schools)

"The trick with this one is we're starting the construction project mid-year," Clinch said. "It's a 12-month construction period, so what that means is the following December the teachers and staff will move everything into the new building, and when students return from the break they would go to the new school."

Phase 2 of the project would begin once the new school is in operation. It involves demolition of the existing, 60,000-square-foot building and renovation of a classroom wing that was built in 1990 and needs to be brought up to current standards, Clinch said. A staff parking lot would be built on the footprint of the former school, according to a conceptual master plan.

Built in 1971, the elementary school shares a 63-acre campus with St. Cloud Middle School, which is also scheduled to be replaced after the completion of the elementary school project.

Details on a new bid opportunity for architecture firms.

The district has already gone through a selection process for new middle school prototype designs, but Clinch said the district would likely issue a separate RFQ for that project.

"Because it's a comprehensive renovation, we'll have to go out for a new selection in order to get a more custom solution," he said.

The new middle school campus would get a new band facility and new locker room addition to the existing gymnasium. The two schools will share the kitchen and cafeteria.

An orientation site visit is scheduled on March 6. Questions and responses should be sent to Purchasing Supervisor Cheryl Jesse.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407)420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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