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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Friday, Nov. 9, 2018 3 years ago

The Geneva School building new campus

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The Winter Park private school has a new campus in the works to help accommodate its ongoing growth.
by: Tim Freed Former Managing Editor

The Geneva School in Winter Park is on the move — in the midst of building a portion of its new campus that should be open by August 2019.

Work is underway on the school’s new campus slated for the 45 acres on 1775 Seminola Blvd. in Casselberry. The construction happening right now entails the roughly 56,000-square-foot seventh through 12th grade building, which will include academic space, a gym, locker rooms, a weight room, a learning garden, an art room, a music area with practice rooms, a black box theatre, and multipurpose spaces.

New features on the campus also include an additional science lab, designated study spaces and conference rooms.

It all marks the latest step in the K4-12 school complete transition to the new property — a vision that was first conceived back in 2007. 

“Plans are still eventually that we would have the entire campus up there, but in terms of the money we were able to raise, we did it in sections and decided to start with the upper school,” Director of Advancement Katie Deatherage said.

“We will maintain our current campus on 436. Our current main campus starting in fall of 2019 will be the school for our K4 through sixth graders, and then our seventh through 12th graders will relocate to the new property on Seminola with the new building.”

The new campus off of Seminola Boulevard helps The Geneva School deal with its ongoing growth, Deatherage said. The change allows for the school to increase its capacity by just over 200 students over the next two to three years, she said.

“We’re currently maxed — this building cannot accommodate anymore students,” Deatherage said. “We have just over 500 students and in fact we rent space for our kindergarten and first graders right now, so we don’t have all of our students on one campus currently.”

“The motivation for the move was that we needed our own outdoor athletic complex to meet the needs of our students, and we needed a larger footprint to be able to grow the school to a number we felt like was a good sustainable number.”

Two years ago at the new location the school finished construction on the infrastructure and a new outdoor athletic complex, which includes eight tennis courts, two soccer fields, softball and baseball fields, and a beach volleyball area.

Soon student athletes will no longer have to make the trip between the two campuses to practice or compete.

“Our kids can walk out the back of the building and not have to shuttle from one campus to another,” Deatherage said. “They can go straight to practices, fitness and whatever they’re doing that day.”

The new space also allows the teachers and staff more freedom and flexibility, Deatherage said.

“Every group is already dreaming and planning for what can be done far more easily,” Deatherage said.

“A school isn’t its building, however the building definitely allows you to do things if you have the right people in places. … Our faculty are thrilled because they’ll have more spaces and the kids will get to spread out. I think there will be more owning of their work when they have more space to do it in.”

The K4 through sixth grade students will soon have new facilities as well at 1775 Seminola Blvd. in a future phase, along with a larger competition gym space.

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Tim Freed was the managing editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Southwest Orange Observer. 

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