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Parrish Community High begins construction on new addition in April

The 16-classroom addition, which will cost $10.6 million and include two engineering labs, addresses growth and academic needs at the school.

The new addition will address the growth of Parrish Community High School, which is at capacity this school year.
The new addition will address the growth of Parrish Community High School, which is at capacity this school year.
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School District of Manatee County administrators say the new 16-classroom addition being constructed at Parrish Community High School not only will meet the needs of a growing population, but also will enrich the academic offerings at the school.

Daniel Bradshaw, the principal of Parrish Community High School, said the school has needed more space for engineering programs since the school opened in 2019 because the feeder middle schools having excellent engineering programs. 

The 25,000-square-foot addition will have two engineering labs, along with 14 other classrooms, student restrooms, two resource rooms, storage areas and a room for teacher planning. 

“We wanted to allow the opportunity for students to continue their work with those programs on our campus, but we did not have the appropriate lab space,” Bradshaw said. “This new space is going to allow for those students to prepare in all the different STEM subjects and courses they have an interest in.”

With the new engineering labs, the school will be able to offer more courses within engineering, and the school’s Technology Student Association will have a place to grow in participation. 

Bradshaw said TSA only has about 15 to 20 students because the school is not able to offer a class dedicated to TSA due to lack of space. With more students coming from middle school TSA programs interested in continuing in high school, he said the engineering labs will be crucial to the growth of the program and allow students to be more competitive. 

The Parrish Community High School addition will have 14 classrooms and two engineering labs.
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Aaron Jacobson with Schenkel & Shultz, Inc. Architecture said construction of the one-story addition will have minimal disruption to students and staff. It will have punch openings that allow natural light into the classrooms along the perimeter of the building. 

Jacobson said Williams Construction Company was able to get “excellent pricing” during the guaranteed maximum price process that allowed the district to include the engineering labs in the design of the addition. 

The original budget for the addition was $15 million. The guaranteed maximum price of the project is nearly $10.6 million.

The addition will add 400 students to the school’s 2,043-student capacity, making the school’s capacity near 2,500 students. 

With the growth of the Parrish and greater Lakewood Ranch-area, the school is in need of the addition earlier than previously expected. 

The school opened in August 2019 with 535 students enrolled in ninth and 10th grades. A grade level was added each year over the next two years. The School District of Manatee County wasn’t expecting to have to construct the addition until at least six years after the school’s opening. 

The new addition at Parrish Community High School will have 16 classrooms.
Courtesy image

When the district began planning Parrish Community High School in 2017, the plan always included the 16-classroom addition, but the Florida Department of Education doesn’t allow districts to build more than necessary. As a result, the district only could construct the pad for the addition at the time of the school’s original construction. 

“The growth in the Parrish area is probably even faster than anyone could have predicted, but it’s a good problem to have,” Bradshaw said. “We have great students who have great families. … As we see homes built throughout the community daily, we know the students are coming and we want to be prepared for them. (The addition) will allow us to educate them without the need for portable classrooms.”

The district is expecting to receive county site plan approval in March and begin construction in April. If the district can begin construction in mid-April, the addition is expected to be complete in March 2025, allowing teachers and staff to move into the new classrooms during spring break 2025. 



Liz Ramos

Liz Ramos covers education and community for East County. Before moving to Florida, Liz was an education reporter for the Lynchburg News & Advance in Virginia for two years after graduating from the Missouri School of Journalism.

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