University HS nominated for architectural award • by Lauren Roth
Posted on 06/10/2022
University High School aerial photo

A panel of Florida architects nominated University High School for a state award recognizing excellence in K-12 architecture. Voting is now open for the award, the AIA Florida’s People’s Choice competition, at through July 29.


The 78-acre University High School campus, located at 2450 Cougar Way, resembles a Spanish village, complete with a central plaza, arcades and small courtyards between buildings. Colored stucco and red barrel tile roofs enhance the Mediterranean character of the school, which was designed by Frizzell Architects. Since first opening in 1990, students have entered through a triple arch into the main plaza, which features a distinctive clock tower. The gym, dining, auditorium and administration offices surround the arcaded plaza. UHS was the only version of this design built in Central Florida. The school underwent a comprehensive renovation in 2012, designed by RS&H, which maintained the distinctive architecture of the school while updating systems and improving safety.


“The University High School community has always taken great pride in the beauty and unique nature of our campus,” said Principal Thomas Ott. “Our campus footprint is often described by those visiting for the first time as akin to a college campus -- and its look has become a part of our 30-year legacy. To be recognized for this, and to be a part of the AIA Florida People’s Choice Competition as an iconic school building, furthers the pride we have in our campus.”


The People’s Choice competition features 14 schools from around Florida. University High School is the only nominee from Central Florida. 


“Education is the cornerstone on which vibrant communities are built,” said AIA Florida President Lourdes Solera, FAIA. “Through our schools, we empower and elevate future generations of scientists, artists and, yes, architects.”


Designed to engage the public in discussions about architecture, the People’s Choice Competition is held annually by AIA Florida and the Florida Foundation for Architecture and has generated more than 12 million votes since its inception in 2012. Voting will be open at until 11:59 p.m. Eastern on July 29. Voting multiple times is encouraged. The winner will be announced during a ceremony July 30 at the AIA Florida Convention & Trade Show in West Palm Beach.

The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects, AIA Florida, headquartered in Tallahassee, represents the interests of more than 3,900 members in Florida. The Florida Foundation for Architecture is a nonprofit organization that exists to advocate the value of architecture to audiences beyond the profession.