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Schenkel Shultz Unveils Lake Highland Preparatory School’s Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics

ORLANDO, FL (March 25, 2024) Schenkel Shultz, an Orlando-based architecture and design studio, announces the completion of Lake Highland Preparatory School’s (LHPS) modern Upper School facility. Led by Schenkel Shultz Partners Ekta Desai and David Torbert, the Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics, a $30 million project, represents a significant milestone in the school’s continuing commitment to educational excellence and campus revitalization.

Through a rigorous master planning process, Schenkel Shultz and LHPS analyzed space utilization and identified opportunities that aligned with their strategic plan. The decision to replace the aging Upper School Hale and Johnston Halls, built in the mid-1950’s, and the school’s strategic vision gave rise to the Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics.

Designed to foster interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, the building enhances connection with the campus’s stunning natural asset, Lake Highland. Blending a modern aesthetic with traditional Georgian style, the center serves as a beacon of progress, reflecting the bold and innovative pedagogy housed within.

“Our design reflects Lake Highland’s commitment to advancement and interdisciplinary collaboration,” Desai said. “We drew inspiration from the school’s ambitious vision to provide students with an environment that fosters creativity, exploration, and growth.”

The new 71,000 square foot building features the impressive Innovation Institute, which offers generous spaces for immersive, hands-on learning in STEM classrooms and labs as well as robotics/maker spaces and collaborative areas. Included on additional floors are a student union, commons, library, counseling and administrative offices, math, and English classrooms, as well as a large lakefront meeting/event space.   Nestled by Lake Highland at the campus edge, the building’s strategic placement highlights transparency, connectivity, and integration with the beautiful surrounding ecology.

“Schenkel Shultz’s team was an excellent design partner who listened to our dreams about creating a cutting-edge academic facility where our students can be inspired and challenged in new, exciting ways,” said Lake Highland’s President Jim McIntyre. “The Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics characterizes Lake Highland’s constant commitment to providing our students with the best opportunities imaginable. How gratifying to now witness Highlanders immersed in learning as they collaborate, question, create, and problem-solve in this extraordinary new educational home created for them.”

As Lake Highland Preparatory School continues to push the boundaries of educational excellence, the Porter Family Center for Innovation & Academics stands as a model for thoughtful planning, productive collaboration with stakeholders, and progressive educational ideas.


About Schenkel Shultz Architecture

As a member of the Central Florida community for 40 years and headquartered in Downtown Orlando, Schenkel Shultz is committed to inspiring the community through impactful design. The architecture and interior design firm has built a legacy of success through a continued focus on design excellence that responds to the distinct needs of each client. Rooted in critical thinking, research, collaboration, and personal experiences, the firm is passionate about design and creating meaningful community partnerships.

About Lake Highland Preparatory School

Founded in 1970, Lake Highland Preparatory School is Central Florida’s preeminent PreK-12 independent day school serving 2,070 students. Within an atmosphere of love, concern, and mutual respect, the school’s mission is to instill Christian values, inspire patriotism, develop leaders, and prepare students for college and lifelong learning. Known widely for its rigorous academics, successful athletic programs, inspiring arts offerings, and dynamic STEM and innovation curricula, the school also focuses on building leadership and character in its students. Each day, LHP creates compassionate leaders and creative thinkers who will change the world!

For more information contact Beth Cocchiarella at Six The Agency. bethc@sixtheagency.com