Construction is rocking at the county's newest schoolhouse. The walls are up at the $55 million high school being built at U.S. 19 and Hexam Road, north of Weeki Wachee, and the project is on budget and on schedule for an August 2010 opening, said Bo Bavota, the school district's facilities director. A couple of two-story buildings with a total of 280,000 square feet will accommodate about 1,700 students, and utilities are being installed for a third building for when it's needed. The school, designed by the architecture firm SchenkelShultz of Tampa, is a lesson in energy-efficient technology, Bavota said. One of the coolest features: Instead of the air-conditioning unit, a plant that makes and stores ice at night will be used to cool the building in the morning hours. "We save a tremendous amount of money in energy costs," Bavota said. The school will also take the heat off Springstead and Central high schools, both of which are overcrowded.
— Tony Marrero, Times Staff Writer