Campus Renovations

Tampa Education Center to See $19.5M Campus Replacement

The Dorothy Thomas Exceptional Center in Tampa, Fla., recently selected construction firm Skanska to lead its $19.5-million campus replacement project. The Center is a public school in Hillsborough County that serves K–12 students in need of behavioral and emotional support.  The project involves replacing 12 existing classrooms that cover about 40,000 square feet with new, state-of-the-art structures that better serve the needs of the school’s 60 students.

Design features incorporating the students’ needs include placing classroom windows higher up to allow for natural light while minimizing distractions. The news release reports that the ultimate goal is to create a supportive, safe environment free of auditory and visual distractions.

Dorothy Thomas Exceptional Center replacement

“As a builder, we take great pride in building educational projects to serve our communities,” said Michael C. Brown, Skanska Florida’s executive vice president and general manager. “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 new space was designed by Fleischmann-Garcia Architecture. Classrooms will feature muted blues, greens and yellows selected for their calming effect on students. The logistics of the project also face the complication of doing construction on an active K–12 campus. The Skanska team relocated existing classrooms to the opposite end of campus before beginning renovation work; builders will also monitor noise levels to be mindful of students who are sensitive to loud noises.

Construction began in March and is scheduled for completion in August 2023, according to a news release.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].