Skanska says it has been selected to spearhead the campus replacement at the Dorothy Thomas Exceptional Center, a Hillsborough County public school in Tampa serving students in need of emotional and behavioral support. Construction of the $19.5 million project began in March of this year with completion slated for August 2023.
Fleischmann-Garcia Architecture designed the school.
The approximately 40,000-sq. ft. project will replace the 12 existing classrooms with new structures for the school’s nearly 60 students in grades K-12. The goal is to deliver a school campus that will meet the needs of students who learn best in a supportive and safe environment, free of auditory and visual distractions.
“As a builder, we take great pride in building educational projects to serve our communities.” Michael C. Brown, executive vice-president and general manager of Skanska Florida, said in a May 31 statement. “As we work to complete the Dorothy Thomas Exceptional Center project, our hope is that the delivery of this new campus and its classrooms will set the standard for exceptional centers in the Tampa Bay region and beyond.”
The educational project will incorporate windows placed higher up to allow for natural light, while minimizing any visual distractions. “The new classroom spaces will also feature muted shades of blue, green, yellow, and natural colors that are more calming and appeasing to the student population,” the contractor said in the statement.
“The project’s logistics are also exceedingly complex, as construction of the new facilities will take place on an active K-12 school campus. Before building began, the Skanska team relocated the in-use, existing classrooms to the other side of the campus before starting the construction work. The building team will closely monitor the noise levels of its operations as some of the students may be sensitive to loud noises.