Real Estate Today, Sarasota Herald Tribune
by Harold Bubil
So far, so good for “Option 5,” the Sarasota High School campus renovation plan that calls for keeping and renovating both the Paul Rudolph-designed Building 4 and the gymnasium [Ed note: Building 5]. Option 5 was decided upon during a design charrette in June.
In July, the school board approved $30.5 million in its tentative capital fund budget for the enhanced project, $4 million more than estimated for an initial proposal that called for demolition of the gym and glassing-in of Building 4’s open-air entrance plaza, or “breezeway.”
The Sarasota County School Board and the County Commission heard a report from school board COO Scott Lempe this week. Lempe said Harvard Jolly Architects and Tandem Construction are working on the design, and that Building 4 has been vacated in preparation of renovation. Design is scheduled to be complete by late spring 2013. Lempe said the project will be done in several phases and is scheduled for completion in December 2015.
“This project is now well under way with the support of a broadly represented community,” said Lempe. That includes the Sarasota Architectural Foundation, which advocated for saving both Building 4 and the gymnasium, which will be repurposed as instructional space, replacing the isolated Building 42.
The SAF convened a committee of design professionals and today released a detailed report [Click to download report: SHS Rehab Aug2012] that recommends a “rehabilitation” of Building 4, including the removal of pipes and other items added over the years that created “visual clutter.” The emphasis is on restoring the original appearance of the building.
“We are confident the final product will address all our original concerns in a way that is acceptable to, and respectful of, all our stakeholders,” said Lempe.