The Florida Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists enthusiastically celebrated the groundbreaking of a new school in Greater Tampa, serving the Wesley Chapel community and beyond. The early childhood through 12th grade school, which will be ready to open for the 2018-2019 school year, will be one of the most advanced schools in the United States.Over 270 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony Sunday afternoon. Most were from Tampa, but some drove from several hours away because of their interest in the design of this new campus and its potential impact on a wide range of other schools.
“This new school will be a place of 21st Century learning that is rooted in the foundational teachings of the church,” said Mike Cauley, President, Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “The children who learn here will be prepared to thrive in tomorrow’s world professionally, personally and spiritually.”
On what is now 43 acres of pasture land in Pasco County, the school campus will have five academic buildings, an arts center, and an athletic complex. The vision for this new campus began back in 2012 when the Florida Conference, in concert with Tampa Bay area churches and schools, evaluated the potential for a new campus in the greater Tampa area. They proceeded with the selection and acquisition of the property, followed by submitting to the required zoning and permitting processes.
School Growth (SchoolGrowth.com) will design the "software" of the school, utilizing highly successful models from across the country to optimize the governance, operations, and administration for this completely new school. The learning design will use the best practices from pedagogical and brain research to deliver a holistic experience for each student. School Growth will be working closely with the talented leadership team within the Department of Education from the Florida Conference to produce the curricular and co-curricular plans.
“Our team is extremely excited about this new school because it will be a model for educational excellence, delivering a remarkable learning experience within a leadership and operational design that is highly efficient and productive,” said Scott Barron, Founder and CEO of School Growth. “We’re incorporating all of the best strategies we’ve collected and learned from remarkable schools across the globe to produce a sustainable model that will elevate the trajectory for hundreds of students each year.”
The architectural plans for this school will be based on a campus design provided by the world-class architects at Fielding Nair. Prakash Nair, Issac Williams, and his team have combined the remarkble successes from their global school projects to produce a customized plan that blends with the natural beauty of the land. Wannemacher Jensen Architects of St. Petersburg will lead the implementation of this project.
Dr. Dale Meryman, Chairman and President of Meryman Environmental, Inc., designed the ecological plan for this site, making the outdoor spaces highly engaging for students and inviting to the natural inhabitants of the area. Local businesses like SunTrust are providing volunteers to implement and manage the various features that Dale's team will create.
As you can see, the construction and launch of this school will be accomplished through the collaboration of a world-class group of experts. The name and more specifics about the different programs will be announced early in 2017.