The Parramore pre-K-8 school is getting closer to fruition, with bidding to build the 384,000-square-foot educational center coming as soon as December.
The $41.3 million project, at the SW quadrant of Parramore Avenue and Amelia Street, is scheduled to go before the Orlando Municipal Planning Board Oct. 20. Its owner, the Orange County Public Schools, will request a conditional use permit for the 14-acre site, which will have a Boys & Girls Club adjacent to it.
Bob Lipscomb, president of general contractor Williams Co., said the project is "a challenging" one because "it's in a very tight downtown urban site."
The project's planning is well along: construction documents are being drafted, a process that is expected to conclude at the end of October.
Construction is expected to begin in January and be complete in the summer of 2017.
The opening of the new school will mean that for the first time in more than 40 years, since desegregation closed Parramore's local school, the community's children will be able to attend class in their own neighborhood.
Philanthropy-minded hotelier Harris Rosen is providing the preschool program for two to three-year-old children through the Rosen Foundation. In addition, the foundation will pay to send any Jones High School graduate living in the Parramore neighborhood to a two-year, four-year, technical, or vocational college in Florida.
It also puts in place the first plank in what school and city officials hope will become an unbroken progression of educational opportunities for the area, extending to Jones High School and then on to Valencia College and/or the University of Central Florida. Both institutions are planning campuses at the adjacent Creative Village.