Construction is under way on WaterGrass Elementary School, a green public school inside the master-planned community of WaterGrass on Curley Road, Wesley Chapel.
The 88,000-square-foot school is on a 22.4-acre site transferred to the Pasco County School District by Crown Community Development, says Teri McGinnis, marketing director for Crown, which is developing this 2,000-home community. The school property incorporates 2 acres of wetlands.
Clearwater-based Creative Contractors Inc. is the construction manager and the school is slated for an August opening. The new school will house 760 students in grades K-5.
The project is registered with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™, the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The school will incorporate water-saving features ranging from dual-flush toilets to drought-resistant landscaping. All learning spaces will employ the latest advances in acoustics.
Tampa's Holmes Hepner & Associates Architects designed the school to include seven buildings, with students grouped into pods with four classrooms each. The pods will be built around a central courtyard featuring a butterfly garden. Access to classrooms is restricted to the pod's courtyard for greater student safety. Additional security enhancements include wrought-iron gates and limited access points.
In addition to classrooms, the school will have a library, art and music rooms, administrative offices, multipurpose cafeteria and ample recreation facilities. The buildings' enhanced hurricane protection will make them suitable for use as emergency shelters.
WaterGrass will offer a comprehensive mix of single-family homes, villas and town-homes priced from the mid $200s to more than $900,000 including homesite. Plans are being developed for amenities such as a clubhouse, aquatic complex and sports core.
Crown Community Development is part of the privately held Henry Crown Companies and has created master-planned communities in Illinois, Arizona and Florida, and Seven Oaks in Pasco County.
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