Innovation Montessori Ocoee

Innovation Montessori needed a park-like campus setting to fully execute its educational vision. Building Hope honored the mission to protect the environment, while delivering a facility specifically tailored to the needs of a Montessori school.

“When we were trying to find a way to bring our dreams into reality, Building Hope stepped in. Building Hope is probably the best-named organization there is.”

~ Brett Casey ~ 
Governing Board President,
Innovation Montessori Ocoee

Creating Sustainable Solutions for a Charter School

By the spring of 2017, Innovation Montessori had discovered that it was outgrowing its strip mall home in Winter Garden, FL. The school was thriving but after six years, its students needed a new facility.

Enter Building Hope. Board Chair Brett Casey said Building Hope readily stepped in when Innovation Montessori’s leadership was looking for a way to turn its dreams into reality.

Innovation Montessori decided to build a ground-up facility in Orange County, FL, where it was chartered. Building Hope worked with PNC Bank to procure the needed financing. However, a suitable property proved hard to find. The school faced a slew of challenges with land and regulations. Moore said thousands of potential sites were turned down.

Finally, an affordable 18-acre site was identified in Ocoee. The city had sought to revitalize the land, which came with its own set of challenges – nearly half of the property was unbuildable wetland.

Innovation Montessori and Building Hope were determined to make the site work. After obtaining the land and necessary municipal approvals, Building Hope’s team of experts designed a facility that would integrate with the landscape, weaving structures and parking around hundreds of trees rather than cutting them down. The project’s leadership found innovative ways to benefit the surrounding community, too, by commissioning a new plumbing system and adding access roads in the area. The site design had immediate, positive impact on the local community and the environment.

In August 2017, less four months after breaking ground, the newly named Innovation Montessori Ocoee (IMO) opened its 8,000-square-foot primary building. By the following spring, two additional buildings were completed with Building Hope’s support. One of the highlights of the site – a solar-energy system that powers the entire campus – was also completed in the spring of 2018.

Casey said all of this was made possible because of Innovation Montessori Ocoee’s trusted partnership with Building Hope.

Building Hope's Role: