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New WaterGrass Elementary in Wesley Chapel embraces green

An artist’s rendering shows WaterGrass Elementary, under construction in Wesley Chapel.

Special to the Times

An artist’s rendering shows WaterGrass Elementary, under construction in Wesley Chapel.

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 Systemâ„¢, 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.

E-mail items to lazich@sptimes.com or mail to Lucille Lazich, Business Digest, 11321 U.S. 19, Port Richey, FL 34668. Call (727) 869-6235.

New WaterGrass Elementary in Wesley Chapel embraces green 12/30/08 [Last modified: Thursday, January 1, 2009 11:40pm]

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