Grand Avenue Neighborhood Center


Client: City of Orlando

Location: Orlando, FL

Cost: $18,000,000

Size: 95,844 SF


Borrelli + Partners, Inc. along with Gilbane Building Company and JCB Construction, was awarded the Design/Build contract to retrofit 29,844 SF of the original Grand Avenue building and complete 66,000 SF of new construction. When the Grand Avenue Elementary School closed in 2017, the property repeatedly became victim to vandalism and eventually grew into disarray. The repurposing of Grand Avenue provides an opportunity to expand on youth and cultural programming for the Holden Heights and Parramore neighborhoods, which have historically been under-resourced and challenged by crime and unemployment. The new Grand Avenue Neighborhood Center includes a full-sized gymnasium with seating for approximately 900 people, a fitness and weight training studio, a yoga studio, a pottery studio, a computer lab, a teen room, a kids’ room, a classic arcade, multiple classrooms, administrative offices, multi-use conference rooms, a future recording studio, a multi-purpose cafeteria and kitchen, a grand courtyard, and landscaping. The Grand Avenue Neighborhood Center features an auditorium with seating for approximately 160 people and a theater with the original hardwood floor stage. Performance groups and various other vendors will be able to utilize the only theater amongst Orlando’s 17 neighborhood centers. The Center will host programs through partnerships with the Orlando Philharmonic, Opera Orlando, the Orlando Ballet, and CFCArts.

The Grand Avenue building is a two-story Mediterranean Revival building that was built in 1926 during the Florida Land Boom along with a twin school in College Park, the Princeton Elementary School. It was designated a historic landmark by the City of Orlando in 1995. Preserving the historic integrity of the original Grand Avenue Elementary School was of upmost importance for the Design/Build team.

The project was designed to utilize solar and photovoltaic energy. Honoring the City of Orlando’s mission to provide 100% renewably sourced energy for all city departments by 2030, the project adds to the City’s renewable portfolio. The roofs of the new construction are completely covered with solar panels, contributing to a clean, safe, and healthy environment for the community to live, play, and thrive. The benefits are reduced power consumption as well as self-generated power for the facility. The Center is projected to achieve LEED® Silver certification.

The project is positioned next to the 12-acre Grand Avenue Park which has been recently renovated by our Design/Build team. The project included site work, new lighting, two outside playgrounds, and through grant funding, equipment for the baseball fields and open play field.

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