Valrico Elementary Tampa, Florida

Overall Image

Overall Image

Sunshades

Sunshades

Facade Detail

Facade Detail

Walkway

Walkway

Library

Library

Client: Hillsborough County School District

Location: 609 South Miller Road

Site: The site is a 20-acre tract with over 20 feet of gently sloping topography. The site is bounded on the west and south by orange groves and agricultural land and on the north and east by single family homes.

Program Challenge: To design a 100,000 square foot elementary school with 870 student stations for K- 5 students. The school needed to include instructional spaces for a music lab, skills development labs, and resource rooms. The project also had to be energy efficient and stay within a tight budget.

Solution: Rowe Architects Incorporated responded to the program challenges with a structure divided into four separate “buildings” organized around a central schoolyard. Internally, the classroom spaces were configured to meet the school board’s paired classroom-teaching practice requirements. The special purpose instructional spaces and support functions were housed in two one-story buildings. The administration and student services spaces were designed within the more public building at the street. The media center, music lab, and multi-purpose room were housed in the second one-story building, along with dining and food services and custodial services. The media center was placed in a prominent position on the schoolyard, while the multi-purpose and dining spaces were aligned to view the site’s gentle slope and tree-lined property line. All five “public” spaces – administration reception, student services reception, the media center, the multi-purpose room, and dining – avail themselves to the public and views of the street, schoolyard, and site with floor to ceiling storefront glazing. The four buildings are articulated and/or connected by a system of shading devices, covered walkways, and stair towers.

To meet the energy efficiency requirements, the facility’s mechanical system was designed with fan coil units and a decoupled fresh air system. The decoupled fresh air system delivers dry, conditioned, fresh air directly to the classrooms and the fan coil units provide comfort cooling. The units are inexpensive, easy to maintain, and provide zone temperature control without the use of expensive VAV boxes.

The project – successfully bid for $300,000 below the budget and designed and constructed on a tight schedule – was awarded the 1997 H. Dean Rowe, FAIA Award of Excellence in Architecture from AIA Tampa Bay, and the Award of Excellence in Architecture from AIA Florida in 1998.

  • 2004 Exhibition of School Architecture, National School Boards Association
  • 1999-2000 Published, AIA Florida Firm Directory, AIA Florida
  • 1998 Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture, AIA Florida
  • 1998 Published, “Florida Caribbean Architect” AIA Florida, Fall issue
  • 1997 H. Dean Rowe, FAIA Award for Design Excellence, Built Category, AIA Tampa Bay

Published, 1999-2000, AIA Florida Firm Directory, AIA Florida
Published, 1998, “Florida Caribbean Architect” AIA Florida, Fall issue