PKY starts planning for new secondary wing

With dust barely settled from the recent construction of P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School’s prototype elementary wing, preparations have started for the next phase of the school’s campus revitalization project: a new $15.9 million building that will house the middle and high school grades.

P.K. Yonge is the K-12 laboratory school of the University of Florida’s College of Education. The lab school’s existing secondary wing is located south of the local Tumblin Creek among several separate buildings built in the 1950s and ‘60s.

With a design concept already in place, planning for the new 75,000-square-foot secondary school building pressed forward with a meeting in May between P.K. Yonge’s construction committee and representatives from the Orlando office of SchenkelShultz Architecture. The two teams met for the second time in early June.

“The new secondary school building will contain a variety of learning spaces, none of which will look like traditional classrooms,” said P.K. Yonge’s technology coordinator Julie Henderson. “This building will be unique as the design supports modes of learning for today’s and tomorrow’s children.”

The main goal of the new building’s design is to incorporate community-style spaces that support collaboration, flexibility, mobility, as well as individual work. The learning areas will also include space for computers, teacher work, eating, and lounging. The classroom walls will be transparent to support observations of students and class activities.

“Experts in the field were calling our new elementary wing a model school building for the 21st century, and we’re using the same progressive design principles in planning our secondary wing as a student-centered learning community,” said P.K. Yonge Director Lynda Hayes.

In fact, the recently completed elementary wing received merit recognition this year from the Florida Educational Facilities Planners’ Association during its Architectural Showcase.

In the current design-build phase, SchenkelShultz is consulting a faculty committee composed of elementary, middle and high school faculty members that is providing the firm with “their needs and dreams related to learning spaces,” Henderson said.

The firm has also surveyed P.K. Yonge secondary students and teachers to determine their instructional and learning preferences.

To make room for the new secondary wing, the school library and a separate wing of classrooms will be demolished. The library program and resources will be moved to a temporary location while demolition and construction take place.

Once funding for the project is secured, a groundbreaking is possible within 10 months. Construction is estimated to take 12-14 months after breaking ground.

After the new secondary school is constructed, P.K. Yonge plans to continue the campus revitalization project with the construction of a gym and fitness center, administration building, global learning center, library, parking lots and sports fields.

SOURCE: Lynda Hayes, 352-392-1554, ext. 223, lhayes@pky.ufl.edu
MEDIA RELATIONS: Larry Lansford, 352-273-4137, llansford@coe.ufl.edu