Neil Armstrong Elementary School- History
Neil Armstrong Elementary is the second completed hurricane replacement school. Six schools were destroyed in the aftermath of the August 13, 2004 Hurricane Charley. Peace River Elementary School, East Elementary School, Punta Gorda Middle School and Charlotte High School are all in the process of being rebuilt. Baker Center opened on August 13, 2007 and was the first completed hurricane replacement school.
Neil Armstrong Elementary School originally opened its doors to the Port Charlotte community in 1971. Neil Armstrong Elementary School was destroyed August 13, 2004 by Hurricane Charley. At the time, it consisted of approximately 80,000 sq. ft. of facility space including many portables that served as classrooms.
After the hurricane, Neil Armstrong Elementary School students attended classes in a split shift arrangement on the campus of Liberty Elementary School from August 30, 2004 until April 18, 2005, when Neil Armstrong students moved into a temporary modular school on the grounds of Port Charlotte Middle School.
October 10, 2007 marks the opening of the newly completed Neil Armstrong Elementary School at 22100Breezeswept Avenue, Port Charlotte, Florida. The eleven acre site now houses a new two story 112,000 square foot replacement school designed by Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc. Architects and constructed by Owen Ames Kimball Construction. School District, insurance and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds paid for the $22,838,758 newly constructed school. Students began classes in the new school on October 24, 2007.
The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. Neil Armstrong Elementary School is the second school in the Charlotte County Public School District that was built with the goal in mind of being LEED sensitive and possibly LEED certified. LEED provides a rating system by which a building can officially be deemed a “green” building. For further information, see United States Green Building Council at www.usgbc.org (2006). LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in the following five key areas:
Sustainable Site Development
Indoor Environmental Quality
LEED certification is entirely voluntary, and when certification is sought, the entire design and construction process is monitored by a third party inspector. (United States Green Building Council 2206) The application process is lengthy and certification results will not be know for possibly several months after the application is submitted.
Neil Armstrong Elementary School embraces LEED features such as energy efficient chillers and air handlers, motion activated lights, tinted windows, indirect lighting, exterior parking lot lighting with perimeter light concentration, low water flow sinks and low water flow toilets.
All paint, primers and glue products used in construction are low volatile organic compounds (VOC). Recyclable/renewable products used are ceiling tiles, vinyl floor tiles, carpeting, steel structure, and concrete, all filters for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. All wood products were U.S. Certified to have been harvested from tree farms and not forests.
Additionally, the LEED program requires specially placed, close in parking for hybrid parking spaces and car pooling parking spaces.
Other features of Neil Armstrong Elementary School not related to LEED, include interactive teaching boards, digital cameras, audio enhanced sound system, height adjustable writing boards, security camera system and hurricane resistant glass windows.
Square Feet: 112,000
Classrooms/Lab rooms: 47
Total seating: 904
Parking spaces: 155
Security cameras: 50
Groundbreaking Oct. 11, 2006
Open House: Oct. 10, 2007
Children moved in: Oct. 24, 2007