With a growing student population and multiple new middle school projects in the works, Osceola County Schools is in the market for a prototype design that can be replicated across the county.
The district posted a Request for Information (RFI) on Friday seeking architecture firms to supply plans for a school facility to accommodate 1,408 students. The RFI specifies that the design should be flexible enough to allow for construction on greenfield sites or on existing campuses.
Cheryl Jessee, purchasing supervisor for the school district, said reusing an approved school design from another district saves the district millions in architectural and engineering fees and can shave a year off the planning process.
"We want to know which firms have a board-approved middle school that's already a functioning middle school campus," she said. "As a part of the selection process, we're going to be making site visits to see how the site functions."
The prototype middle school should be of concrete tilt panel or CUM construction with a combination of flat and pitched metal roofs. They should have between 160,000 and 170,000 total square feet, including classrooms, administrative offices, media center, gymnasium with boys and girls locker rooms, a kitchen and cafeteria.
The new schools will likely be co-located at existing campuses in Harmony and the new High School "FFF" on Boggy Creek Road.
Submittals are due Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.
Jesse said the prototype schools would not be funded by the proposed half-cent sales tax, which is on the Nov. 8 ballot. Those funds can not be used to create new "student stations," and would allocated to alleviate the backlog of capitol improvements at existing school campuses.
This isn't the first time the county has utilized a prototype design for different locations. Three Osceola high schools -- Celebration, Harmony and Liberty -- were all built from the same Shenkel Shultz prototype design. And the new high school on Boggy Creek Road will use the same design, with some modifications.
"They're basically the same exact school," Jesse said. "They get different colors."
In 2013, the district selected Paul Stresing Associates to design a 14-room classroom addition prototype that was used at two elementary schools.
Osceola County this month held a grand opening for a new four-bay fire station in Poinciana, the first utilizing a prototype design by CT Hsu & Associates. The county has already announced plans to build two more prototype fire stations in Reunion and Buena Ventura Lakes.