As part of the city’s Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvement Program and its commitment to enhancing resident’s quality of life, historic Grand Avenue Elementary School will be preserved and repurposed as a youth and family recreation center.
Once renovations are complete, the city’s Pottery Studio and current programming at the Downtown Recreation Complex will relocate to Grand Avenue. The move will also bring an expansion of youth services for the surrounding Holden Heights neighborhood.
The city intends to offer the full range of after-school and summer programs at Grand Avenue as it does at all other neighborhood centers. This includes recreation and sports programs, Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ), and expanding after-school and summer programs. The city also intends to construct a full-sized gymnasium at the site.
Commitment to Community and Historic Preservation
Downtown Recreation Complex- & Expanded Youth Programming
The Holden Heights neighborhood has long desired youth programming to help meet the needs of our residents and families. The repurposing of Grand Avenue will provide an opportunity to relocate and expand on the youth programming to this area. The intended full-sized gymnasium is also an added investment in the Holden Heights neighborhood.
The Pottery Studio
The Pottery Studio has grown in size and popularity in recent years and has nearly outgrown its space within the Downtown Recreation Complex. The new location at Grand Avenue will allow for a larger space for the studio with room for its programs and membership to grow. There will be room for larger working areas and additional storage.
A key part of the city’s strategic growth plan is recognizing, preserving and celebrating our past and honoring our history. The city acquiring and repurposing Grand Avenue Elementary School further supports the city’s historic preservation efforts and the preservation of this community resource.
The Grand Avenue Elementary School building was designated as a Historic Landmark by the city on February 13, 1995. It features Mediterranean Revival architecture. As a historical landmark, any exterior work or demolition would be subject to our Historic Preservation process.
Renovation and Re-use of Existing Facility and New Construction Details
- Re-use of existing facility:
- Re-use of the entire building, including the first level, second level and media building
- New construction:
- Gymnasium with seating for 900
- New City of Orlando administrative space
- General space
- After-School All-Stars space
Estimated Timeline and Next Steps
- Monday, December 11, 2017 – Orange County Public School (OCPS) Board meeting to declare property as “surplus”
- Sunday, December 31, 2017 – Property Exchange Agreement between the city and OCPS expires
- January/February 2018 – Historic Preservation Board (HPB) review process
- Minor review (administrative) – exterior work
- Major review – new building additions/construction
- 2018 (estimated)
- Design/Build RFP
- Execute build contract
- 2019 (estimated) – Groundbreaking/Construction kickoff
- 2020 (estimated) – Construction completed/opening
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