Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

School district's first LEED-certified school set for Ruskin

RUSKIN — The Hillsborough County School District will construct its first LEED-certified school on an educational campus that is already home to Lennard High School and Hillsborough Community College's SouthShore campus.

The as yet unnamed elementary school, on 13 acres once owned by the Dickman family, will house approximately 950 students and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.

The LEED designation will fit with the HCC campus, which is LEED certified.

The school board approved the $18 million project over the summer and hired Tampa-based Wilder Architecture to plan and design the facility, and Batson-Cook Co. to oversee the construction. The two companies are experienced in green building.

"We don't have anyone on our construction staff certified as a LEED professional, so the selection of Wilder Architecture and Batson-Cook is a very strong one," says Rory Salimbene, the school district's general manager of construction.

"Their education experience and the significant experience they've had working with our school district, combined with a good LEED background, make them the best qualified for this particular school."

Batson-Cook's list of notable renovation projects include Leto, Plant and Gaither High, plus construction of FishHawk Creek, Frost and Summerfield elementary schools.

"We've had a successful track record working cooperatively with Wilder Architecture, so they know we'll get the job done well," said Batson-Cook's Dave Marshall.

Wilder has planned and designed Gary Adult High School, and upgraded Potter Elementary School and the historic Hillsborough High School.

"The school district has been practicing sustainability for a long time," notes Larry Wilder, Partner at Wilder Architecture. "Now, we're going through the formal process and this will set the standard for the future."

Construction of the school, due to break ground around July 2013, has been part of the school district's five-year plan and is part of the mixed-use development of land regulated by the state under a Development of Regional Impact, or DRI, that includes the neighboring South Shore Corporate Park.

Although the planning for the school is still in the early stages, Salimbene said the school district has developed a scheme that includes three, two-story classroom buildings with an east-west orientation arranged to form two courtyards.

Plans also call for a single-story building housing the administration offices and a media center, a separate one-story cafeteria and multipurpose room, and playfields and playgrounds on the west and north side of the school.

Some of the school's proposed features credited for LEED involve enhanced lighting controls and use of daylight, waterless toilets and low-flow plumbing fixtures, Florida-friendly landscaping requiring little or no irrigation, a reflective roof and a variety of measures to increase efficiency of the air-conditioning system.

The district is also considering the feasibility of expanding the cooling plant at Lennard High School using thermal ice storage to provide needed cooling.

"Our focus is on measures with little or no first cost implementation as well as those proven to save money in the long run," Salimbene said.

Access to the school will be off E Shell Point Road, west of Lennard, with separate entries proposed for cars and buses. Preferred parking spaces will be available for carpools, low-emitting and fuel efficient vehicles and bike racks.

The parking will be in an area that has the potential for joint use with a future Hillsborough County park that is being considered immediately north of the school property.

Approval for the overall schematic design is tentatively scheduled for the Nov. 13 school board meeting. Several public meetings will follow early next year to gather input for boundary changes that are needed to accommodate the new school.

"This will be our most technologically advanced school, with smart projectors in each classroom, and a wireless network throughout the school," Salimbene points out.

School officials say the new elementary school is well situated to take overflow students from nearby Cypress Creek and Ruskin Elementary schools if necessary.

For now, there are no plans to build a middle school in the tri-campus area.

.Fast Facts

What is


Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, provides independent, third-party verification that a building is designed and constructed using environmentally friendly strategies. Those strategies include: high performance in human and environmental health, sustainable site development, energy efficiency, water conservation, green building materials and indoor environmental quality. There is also an education component that encourages LEED certified schools to incorporate green building practices and features into their core education curriculum so students have an understanding of what constitutes a green school from the inside out. The LEED rating system offers four certification levels for new construction — certified, silver, gold and platinum — that correspond to the number of credits accrued in each category. The new elementary school proposed by the school district will be certified silver.

School district's first LEED-certified school set for Ruskin 09/15/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 15, 2012 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated


    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humiliation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person



    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry crowd at Raymond James Stadium. Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears


    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings