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Destin High School

Opportunity knocks and a city gets its school.
Client: DAG Architects
Location: Destin, FL

ACF Type: text

Project Manager: Bryan Osborn, PE

Services: Boundary / ALTA Surveying, Conceptual Design, Development Services, Due Diligence, Education, Foundation Design, Permitting, Roadway Design, Sidewalks & Trails, Site Design, Stormwater, Structural Building Design, Structural Inspection, Topographic Surveying, Traffic, Wastewater, Water

Project Profile:

For years, the city of Destin, Florida, sent its high school students to neighboring Ft. Walton Beach or Niceville.

In December of 2020, OWN, Inc. received a call from the Destin school board. A local church had gone up for sale and it was sized just about right to accommodate the needs of a functioning high school. They just needed to get funding – and charter – in place.

The kicker? The district wanted it open for class on August 21, 2021.

After evaluating the size and state of the existing structure and grounds with staff from the local office of DAG Architects, the team proposed a three-phased approach spanning as many years:

  • Phase 1 – 2021 – Complete all compulsory site improvements to get the school up and running
  • Phase 2 – 2022 – Complete a gymnasium addition plus four portable 2,000-square-foot buildings for temporary classrooms
  • Phase 3 – 2023 – Add a 3-story, 27,000-square-foot classroom building to replace portable buildings

Once contracts were signed, OWN provided Site Design, Civil Engineering, and Permitting on Phase 1; Structural Engineering on Phase 2 and 3.

For site civil designs, OWN added a fire main to the structure, designed a safe pedestrian route from the street to the school, and added school zone signage. OWN worked closely with the county on a critical traffic study to assess flows throughout the day.

The design also future-proofed the site for further additions. For example, limited parking courtesy of a shared lot on either side of the adjacent Central Arts building may require the need for a parking garage somewhere down the line.

Initially, a timeline of eight months was given: two for design and six for permitting. But the contractor would need enough time to build. With so many moving parts, the scope felt more like a series of sprints than a multi-year project. Everything was on the tightest of timelines.

As OWN employees work and live in the community and have a deep understanding of the impact to the families and faculty, the team leaned on its close relationships with contacts at every-level of government to complete work in time for the start of the school year.