Repurposing of Grand Avenue Elementary School

 The city is committed to community and historic preservation.

As part of the city’s Neighborhood Infrastructure Improvement Program and its commitment to enhancing resident’s quality of life, historic Grand Avenue Elementary School will be preserved and repurposed as a youth and family recreation center.

Once renovations are complete, the city’s Pottery Studio and current programming at the Downtown Recreation Complex will relocate to Grand Avenue. The move will also bring an expansion of youth services for the surrounding Holden Heights neighborhood.

The city intends to offer the full range of after-school and summer programs at Grand Avenue as it does at all other neighborhood centers. This includes recreation and sports programs, Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ), and expanding after-school and summer programs. The city also intends to construct a full-sized gymnasium at the site.

Downtown Recreation Complex and Expanded Youth Programming

The Holden Heights neighborhood has long desired youth programming to help meet the needs of our residents and families. The repurposing of Grand Avenue will provide an opportunity to relocate and expand on the youth programming to this area. The intended full-sized gymnasium is also an added investment in the Holden Heights neighborhood.

The Pottery Studio

The Pottery Studio has grown in size and popularity in recent years and has nearly outgrown its space within the Downtown Recreation Complex. The new location at Grand Avenue will allow for a larger space for the studio with room for its programs and membership to grow. There will be room for larger working areas and additional storage.

Historic Preservation

A key part of the city’s strategic growth plan is recognizing, preserving and celebrating our past and honoring our history. The city acquiring and repurposing Grand Avenue Elementary School further supports the city’s historic preservation efforts and the preservation of this community resource.

The Grand Avenue Elementary School building was designated as a Historic Landmark by the city on February 13, 1995. It features Mediterranean Revival architecture. As a historical landmark, any exterior work or demolition would be subject to our Historic Preservation process.

Park Renovation

The 12-acre Grand Avenue Park surrounding the school is getting a renovation set to begin over the summer of 2020 thanks to the National Recreation and Park Association’s 10th annual Parks Build Community project.

The City of Orlando would like to thank the National Recreation and Park Association and their generous donors for supporting the 2020 Parks Build Community project at Grand Ave Park. These in-kind equipment and service donations total over $450,000.

The substantial equipment and service donations are from the following corporations:

  • Greenfields Outdoor Fitness
  • GameTime
  • BCI Burke Company
  • PlayCore
  • Musco Lighting
  • Gared Holdings
  • Epic Outdoor Cinema
  • DuMor
  • UltraSite
  • ForeverLawn
  • Shade Systems, Inc.
  • Freenotes Harmony Park
  • Most Dependable Fountains
  • Porter/Poligon Corp

Renovations are expected to be completed by April 2021.

Project Updates

The slab has been poured and the walls of the new gym and Orlando Pottery Studio are now standing. Residents nearby can expect to see the following as the City of Orlando works to turn the historic school into a state-of-the-art neighborhood center while renovating the park:

  • Installation of beams and joists
  • Completion of the roof over the new parts of the facility
  • Beginning of the installation of utilities
  • Continuation of renovations to historical building
  • Completion of park renovations