From ages 3 to 18, students in St. Pete just received a huge upgrade to their education and schooling experience. Shorecrest Preparatory School celebrated the opening of Charger Commons last week, a massive, two-story multi-use facility that completes the school’s “Transform Campaign.”
The lower floor had already been in use, with classrooms, dining rooms, a clinic and a library, while also serving as the home to the PreK program. The star of the building is the newly-announced completion of the second floor, which now offers middle and high school students a high-tech, dynamic and immersive facility in which to excel.
The new home of Shorecrest’s STEAM programming, the space features the Hess Library and Technology Center, Smith Center for Innovation, and Reilly Wing for Mathematics – all dynamic student-centered flexible study, classroom and project spaces. The second floor also houses programs and services that benefit all students throughout the PK3-12 school, including the Learning Center, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Advancement and Business Offices. Collaborative spaces like the second floor Seminar Room and the Ohana Community Room round out the final floorplan.
Chargers Commons connects history to future
Appropriately, the capstone of this project connects educators and students of past and present (and will have benefits for future Chargers for years to come.) For example, the Hess Library and Technology Center, funded in large part by Trevor Burgess and Gary Hess, traces familial roots throughout past and present. The library was named in honor of Hess’s father, a former teacher and school librarian. And now Hess’s daughter, a student at Shorecrest, will be among the first to take advantage of all that the new space provides.
“Charger Commons was designed for the purpose of bringing Shorecrest together and enhancing the sense of community for which Shorecrest is known. It is a building for every single Charger,” said Head of School Nancy Spencer at the second floor ribbon-cutting last week.
With this announcement, the school has capped its three-year campaign to fund and finish its master plan for the grounds and set itself up for a more expansive future.
As the school proudly explained it, the aptly-named Transform Campaign transformed the lower campus, retiring and removing a total of 11 small buildings that had been a part of the campus since the ‘70s. In addition to creating the new 65,000 square foot facility, the project raised the level of the lower campus, eliminating flooding and creating more usable outdoor spaces for classes, performances, play, and community gatherings. Charger Commons, and the accompanying Weiss Family Pavilion, now houses programs that support each and every member of the Shorecrest community.