The 96-year-old Lakeview Middle School campus is getting a facelift — one that won’t affect the historical significance of the buildings.
Orange County Public Schools is embarking on a major renovation project at the Winter Garden school — including many upgrades. It currently is in the 30% design phase. Bidding is slated to begin in January, and construction should start in April.
OCPS and Orange County School Board Vice Chair Melissa Byrd held a virtual community meeting Monday, May 16, to share the 30% design phase with parents and citizens.
“We’re excited to see it getting some fine-tuning and a facelift after all these years,” Byrd said.
Also in attendance at the meeting were other panelists representing OCPS, as well as architectural and design firms.
John Quattrone, of the Song + Associates Inc., presented a list of campuswide upgrades and then discussed changes to the individual buildings.
Building 1 is the historic 1926 structure, and this is where a majority of the funds will be spent. It will have a new secure lobby with public restroom, a new clinic and new main entry ramp; and undersized classrooms and administration spaces will be reconfigured. The auditorium will get new finishes, house lighting, a control platform, acoustics, new stage wheelchair lift and new canopy on the exterior stairs.
“Building 1 we’re very excited about,” Quattrone said, remarking on the beauty of the Collegiate Gothic architecture. “I had the privilege of restoring and renovating a Collegiate Gothic building at the University of Florida.”
The entryway arch to the main building will be rebuilt, and a new Lakeview Middle School sign will be installed in the gable.
In the gymnasium, bleachers and lockers will be repaired, and a new covered walkway canopy will be installed between buildings 2 and 4. The gym floor also will be evaluated.
Building 3, which houses the technology labs, is getting two more restrooms, a tech exploration lab and a technical resource center.
In Building 4, one of the classroom buildings, the elevator will be renovated, a canopy connecting the building to the gym will be added, cabinetry will be repaired, and exterior railings and stair handrails will be refinished.
“When you go in these buildings after the project is completed … it will look like you’re walking into a new building,” Quattrone said.
The other classroom structure, Building 6, is getting a teacher planning room in the current clinic space, one large classroom is being split, and permanently locked exterior doors will be installed.
Building 7 houses art and music, and it is getting a new kiln room when the art classroom is remodeled.
The media center, Building 8, will get new furniture and shelving, four new restrooms, thermal-reflective window shades and an upgraded CCTV lab.
In the cafeteria, Building 9, the kitchen will be renovated, a staff restroom will be added, a new projector and screen will be installed, and the dining area will expand outdoors.
Additional sidewalks will be built near the parent parking lot and the ball field.
Restrooms will not be enlarged, Quattrone said, but everything will be replaced, including the ceilings, flooring, tile and porcelain.
All construction will be phased and will take place on an occupied campus, but considerations will be taken to minimize disruptions, Quattrone said.
A reroofing project also is in the works, but this is separate from the renovation project and is expected to be finished prior to the renovation work, he said.
The next meeting regarding this project will take place early next year, said Lauren Roth, senior manager of facilities communications for OCPS.
“We are very excited for this opportunity to renovate and update this beautiful, historical school building,” Byrd said. “Lakeview has a rich history in the Winter Garden community, and we want to honor that by giving the building the love and attention it deserves.”
Anyone with questions about Lakeview’s renovation can email Byrd at [email protected].
Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.