Summer Construction and Renovations Create New and Enhanced Spaces for Students
When students and faculty returned from summer break, they were greeted by many new improvements on both campuses.
At Out-of-Door, we believe that the environment in which our students learn and compete is an important part of their campus experience and success. ODA continuously strives to provide state-of-the-art, aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally conscious facilities for our students on both campuses. Each summer when students and teachers depart for summer break, construction crews arrive and the work begins. This year the campus projects included:
New Siesta Key Outdoor Pavilion While we enjoy harnessing the power of the sun on the Historic Siesta Key campus, we also want to protect our students from its harmful rays. The roof over the outdoor dining pavilion was built over the course of a week by members of the Seminole Nation. The pavilion was constructed by hand, using traditional building techniques and natural materials found on the Seminole preserve. The new structure now provides a large, shaded area for all of the Lower School students and teachers to eat lunch outside every day. The Lower School is currently running a contest to have students help name the new outdoor dining structure.
Siesta Key Administration Building Renovation Also on the Siesta Key Campus, the Administration Building underwent the first phase of improvements with the installation of a new roof. The antique building, a former army barracks donated in the early years of the school, was originally used as the dormitory. This summer the roof of the entire building was stripped off and replaced, improving the building’s energy efficiency as well as its structural integrity.
Upgraded Middle School STEM Lab The Middle School received funding from the Dart Foundation for a newly appointed STEM Lab. The lab features new iMac computers, elevated workstations to accommodate both standing and sitting, and flexible seating solutions, all of which allow students to have more choices in their learning environment. The new furnishings are on casters, making it easy for the room to be customized for each project. Students in Dr. Barrett’s class were engaged and attentive as the eighth graders rolled their desks to a new formation for the day’s assignment. Several chose to stand while working, while others found sitting at the new elevated workstations to be to their preference. It is clear that the students will benefit from the flexibility of the new lab’s amenities.
New Fox Field House at Lakewood Ranch In June, the School broke ground for the Fox Field House, located adjacent to the Malisoff Tennis Center and Taylor Emmons Memorial Field. “The new athletics building is being built with the size and needs of the growing student body in mind, and has been designed to take pressure off of ODA’s existing practice facilities for multiple sports. The Fox Field House will provide the space needed for more indoor practices to run simultaneously so that our student-athletes can return home earlier in the evening,” said Mr. David Mahler. Construction crews are hard at work in hopes of unveiling the space for the winter sports season.
New Concession/Restroom Building at Lakewood Ranch The new building at the practice fields on Deer Drive has student-athletes and parents cheering. The new structure houses restrooms and has a covered front patio that will be used for concessions in the future. The covered area will also be a great place for parents to watch practice while staying out of the sun. The football team has been honing their skills on the fields already this season and appreciate the convenience of the new restrooms.
New Covered Dining Pavilion at Lakewood Ranch A new hurricane-rated shade structure was constructed behind the Petrik Family Commons on the Uihlein Campus. The entire dining patio is now completely shaded and further cooled by circulating fans mounted to the support beams. This covered area will be utilized by Middle and Upper School students for lunch seating, as well as for social events such as the Parent’s Association Back to School Coffee held during the first week of school.
New Lightning Detection System Inslalled at Lakewood Ranch A space-age antenna on the roof of the Arts Building on the Uihlein Campus is the new Thorguard Lightning Prediction System. Using the latest technology on the market to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and guests, this system uses atmospheric sensors to accurately predict conditions for a lightning strike. If conditions exist for a lightning strike within a 2-mile radius, a warning signal will sound that provides at least 8 minutes to seek shelter before the strike occurs. It has proven to be so accurate that we have ordered another one to be installed at Siesta Key immediately.
Resurfaced Track in Thunder Stadium at LWR The track at the Uihlein Sports Complex has been completely resurfaced. Once the new material has cured, the track will be re-striped and the lane numbers freshly labeled. Student-athletes are sure to appreciate the new surface underfoot this spring during the upcoming Track & Field season.
At Out-of-Door, we know that the atmosphere in which our students learn and compete is an important part of their success. ODA continuously strives to provide state-of-the-art, aesthetically pleasing, and environmentally conscious campuses for all of our students.