By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor
The new Davis Building is now ready to welcome the Manatee High School students. Creative Contractors Inc. has completed the $17 million performing arts facility, which stands on the site of the former 1926 Paul F. Davis building on the Manatee High School campus. While it was a matter of debate whether to restore the 85-year-old building or replace it entirely, the school board decided on a new facility after architects Long & Associates of Tampa conducted a study to determine the feasibility of restoration versus replacement.
The 71,000-square-foot facility has a new east façade that has been reconstructed to replicate what had previously been there, thus determining the aesthetic quality for the rest of the structure. Utilizing a full brick veneer finish and elegant precast detailing, the new Davis Building expresses the historic character of the building it replaced. The main entry was extended away from the East façade as a front porch volume to create an inviting entry into the lobby and atrium spaces. Skylight floods the open, two-story atrium space off of the main entry with natural light, creating a central gathering space for the students. The project was designed using the latest REVIT Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.
According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, the two-story facility includes an 800-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art audio-visual system for the district’s Academy for the Performing Arts, but also features classrooms, music labs, practice areas, dressing rooms and an outdoor amphitheater.