June 7, 2022

Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation Uniquely Set to Fuel Student Futures and Florida Economy

The Tampa Bay Business Journal highlights The Kirkland Ranch Academy of Innovation (KRAI) and how it is uniquely calibrated  as a Career and Technology Education (CTE) school set to connect students to successful careers, regardless of a college education. 

Set to open in August, KRAI offers training in construction, robotics, digital media, automotive repair, and other disciplines. The school is structured to fuel innovation, entrepreneurship, and career preparedness. 

Every space is engineered to foster community and collaboration, and one of the most prominent spaces is the two-story collaboration hub. The hub will be filled with flexible furniture to support large gatherings and smaller-scale collaboration between students and outside partners. Like every space in the building, it will be bright, open, social and reconfigurable.

CannonDesign’s Michael Kmak, one of the lead designers of the project, spoke to the Tampa Bay Business Journal about the design of the building. 

“The building is oriented in the east-west direction, which is the primary winds throughout the year in that area so that the courtyard can be cooled by natural ventilation as much as possible. All of the exterior walkways — there’s no internal corridors — are shaded by all of the glass that we put in,” said Kmak. 

Education officials acknowledged the high demand for skilled workers in the local economy, yet the lack of applicants. The director of career, technical and adult education at Pasco County Schools, Lori Romano, tells the Business Journal that they have a lot of support from business partners and companies- and the school & partners are contributing to the curriculum in hopes that it will lead students to  job offers. 

The school will welcome their first round of students for the 2022-2023 school year.