Charger Commons is the final puzzle piece to the Shorecrest campus, creating more than 60,000 square feet of new facilities and reimagining the lower campus to align with Shorecrest’s Vision & Strategic Plan. 

Shorecrest publicly announced the Transform Campaign, in March 2018. Since then, this community experienced many milestone events —from our "30 for 30" party, the opening of the first floor in 2019, to the community-wide reveal of the second floor. The completion of this campaign marks a pivotal moment for Shorecrest, bringing the school closer to completing its campus master plan with facilities that match the quality of teaching and learning for which Shorecrest is known. 

Before officially concluding this campaign, we must circle back to the earliest donors and acknowledge the stories behind our newly named spaces. It’s these stories that makes the generosity of our community so unique. 


2nd Floor Reveal

On August 27, 2021, the Shorecrest Preparatory School community gathered to celebrate the opening of the second floor of Charger Commons, the final phase of the School’s most recent capital project. With the ribbon-cutting and reveal, the Transform Campaign was officially closed, ending the 3+ year journey to complete the Shorecrest campus master plan and bring the entire PK3-12 community together.

The second floor of Charger Commons is the new hub of the School’s robust Middle and Upper School STEAM programming. The space features the Hess Library and Technology Center, Smith Center for Innovation, and Reilly Wing for Mathematics - all dynamic student-centered flexible study, classroom and project spaces designed to serve students of today and tomorrow. The second floor also houses programs and services that benefit all students throughout the PK3-12 school, including The Learning Center, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Advancement and Business Offices. Collaborative spaces like the second floor Seminar Room and the Ohana Community Room round out the final floorplan.

“Charger Commons was designed for the purpose of bringing Shorecrest together and enhancing the sense of community for which Shorecrest is known. It is a building for every single Charger,” said Head of School Nancy Spencer at the second floor ribbon-cutting.

The first floor of Charger Commons, completed in early 2019, includes two Dining Rooms, the Experiential and Lower School Haskell Library, and the Clinic. Charger Commons is also home to The Experiential School, the Tampa Bay Area’s premier early childhood program for 3, 4, and 5-year-old students. Leadership donors Jennifer Vesper and Tom Andrews, along with the  Sher/Conroy families chose to honor former Headmaster Mike Murphy with their gift - naming the Mike Murphy Experiential School building in recognition of his long term commitment to supporting the School’s youngest students.

“We just finished the largest campaign in Shorecrest history with this community’s support,” said Michael Gillis, Director of Advancement. “Mike Murphy had the vision and passion to move this project forward and Nancy Spencer had the courage to finish this campaign and construction.”

The Transform Campaign was publicly launched in March 2018, with groundbreaking in May of the same year. The aptly named project transformed the lower campus, retiring and removing  a total of 11 small buildings that had been a part of the campus since the ‘70s. In addition to creating the new 65,000 square foot facility, the project raised the level of the lower campus, eliminating flooding and creating more usable outdoor spaces for classes, performances, play, and community gatherings. Charger Commons, and the accompanying Weiss Family Pavilion, now houses programs that support each and every member of the Shorecrest community.

 

Partners in the project include Harvard Jolly Architecture; iConstructors; Halton, Inc.; CMK Design Studio; CI Group; Banko Overhead Doors, Thomas Sign & Awning, Co; Eleven Fifty Seven; and SAGE Dining Services. 

Campaign Timeline

March 2018: Announcement of Transform Campaign
The Shorecrest community gathered for the launch of the Transform Campaign. A photo composite of the new building was revealed.

May 2018: Demolition
The generosity of 78 early donors made the launch of Transform and plans for Charger Commons possible. The community gathered for spray painting and to watch the initial demolition.

Summer 2018: Groundbreaking
When the school year began in August 2018, the shell of a new building had taken shape.

Fall 2018: Construction
Construction continued throughout the school year on the first floor of the building.

February 2019: Milestone Celebration of Charger Commons
The name Charger Commons was revealed. Transform’s earliest donors, Tom Andrews and Jennifer Vesper, and the Sher and Conroy families, honored Shorecrest’s long-time Headmaster as the namesake of The Mike Murphy Experiential School building.

March 2019: Opening of Charger Commons First Floor
A ribbon cutting celebrated the opening of the first floor of the new 60,000 square foot facility, which features two Dining Rooms, a new Library and Technology Center, a Clinic, The Wonder Studio, the Mike Murphy Experiential School and playscapes.

August 2019: Exterior Improvements
Completion of the Lower School playscape, organic gardens and greenspaces. Families and staff remark that the campus has never looked better.

November 2019: A Night to Rise
Over 200 community members gathered for a celebration in the shell space on the second floor of Charger Commons. Attendees got a peek of what will be available once Transform is completed.

January 2020: Growing Supporters
More than 300 donors joined Transform during this phase of the campaign.

August 2021: Milestone Celebration Revealing the Second Floor
On August 27, 2021, the Shorecrest community gathered to celebrate the opening of the second floor of Charger Commons, the final phase of this capital project. The second floor of Charger Commons is the new hub of the School’s robust Middle and Upper School STEAM programming. The space features the Hess Library and Technology Center, Smith Center for Innovation, and Reilly Wing for Mathematics - flexible spaces for classrooms, studying and project-based learning designed to serve students of today and tomorrow.

The second floor also houses programs and services that benefit all students throughout the PK3-12 school, including The Learning Center, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Advancement and Business Offices. Collaborative spaces like the second floor Seminar Room and the Ohana Community Room round out the final floorplan. 

Future Projects: The Power of Capital Giving
Capital Giving has the power to transform an institution by building community and igniting innovation. Whether funding essential facilities like The Mike Murphy Experiential School and Charger Commons, or renovating current spaces to best fit our current needs — capital gifts ensure that Shorecrest remains strong for generations to come.

Donor Testimonials

Contributing Chargers: The Root Family

Dr. Allen Root, husband to former chair of the Arts and Humanities Department Janet Root H'16, and their family - Jennifer '81, Michael '85, and Jonathan are frequent Contributing Chargers. The Roots continue to support the foundation of success that Janet created during her 40 year span of volunteerism at Shorecrest.
Root Family

Contributing Chargers: Mandy Rutledge

One of Shorecrest's greatest assets is our Community, specifically our behind-the-scenes volunteers. We asked long time community member and SCA Board member, Mandy Rutledge, to share what it means to be a part of the Shorecrest Community.
Rutledge family

Contributing Chargers: Natalie Peck Spada ’96

One of Shorecrest's greatest assets is our Community, specifically our behind-the-scenes volunteers. We asked long time community member and this year’s SCA co-Secretary, Natalie Peck Spada ’96, to share what it means to be a part of the Shorecrest Community.

Spada family

Contributing Chargers: Steve Wilcox and Thuy La

Contributing Chargers Steve Wilcox and Thuy La are new to the community and after only a few short weeks, knew why they wanted to participate in Two Funds. One Mission.
“We are already seeing Lily ’33 display compassion, happiness, energy, enthusiasm, and excitement about her teachers and friends. The impact that they are having on her is profound.

CONTRIBUTING CHARGERS: MASKUP ST. PETE

Ella Holland ‘21 and Jaeden Geffon ‘22 started MaskUp St. Pete, a nonprofit that makes and sells face masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19. For each mask sold, they donate one mask to a person in need. Thank you MaskUP St. Pete for donating over 180 masks to the loving faculty at Shorecrest!

CONTRIBUTING CHARGER: JENNIFER NGUYEN

Jennifer Nguyen, a Lower School parent of Jocelyn '33, supports Shorecrest because she feels it is a privilege to contribute to an institution that has the facility and means to best support the student body and individual classes.

CONTRIBUTING CHARGER: TOM RICHMOND

Tom Richmond, Lower School parent of Enzo ’28, is a very active parent volunteer. Tom and his wife, Elizabeth, contribute to the Shorecrest community because they believe that investing their time and talent will help their child as well as current and future students of Shorecrest.

CONTRIBUTING CHARGERS: LILA AND BRENTON ROSS

Lila and Brenton Ross are grateful for Shorecrest and that their children love learning much as they do! Last year their family discovered one of their own required medical treatment. The families and volunteers of Shorecrest jumped in to help alleviate day-to-day needs without the Ross family asking. They experienced firsthand that Shorecrest is more than a school, it is a family, thus they give back to support the Shorecrest community.

CONTRIBUTING CHARGER: ALEX LAVOIE

Alex Lavoie, parent and volunteer, along with his wife Kori Locicero, contribute to the Shorecrest community because they feel that the success and outcome of the school invariably come down to the people involved. With the support of our exceptionally talented and generous families, there's nothing Shorecrest can't accomplish!

CONTRIBUTING CHARGERS: GOLFO ALEXOPOULOS AND THOMAS SMITH

Golfo Alexopoulos and Thomas Smith, are the parents of Upper School students Athena ’22 and Sophia ’24. Both Golfo Alexopoulos and Thomas Smith are professors and have a passion for education. For this reason and more, they choose to support the students, teachers, and families of Shorecrest by giving to Two Funds. One Mission.

CONTRIBUTING CHARGERS: MANTOOTH SIBLINGS

Beth Mantooth, Assistant Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management and former Experiential School Teacher, believes in helping her children find organizations where their own savings and belongings can make a real difference in the lives of others. By giving of themselves, they can experience the joy of helping others. And hopefully, that experience makes them lifelong givers. Brailee '29 and Rigsby '31 Mantooth chose to give to Transform so they could be a part of the completion of our new space so their specials teachers will have beautiful spaces in which to teach them.

CONTRIBUTING CHARGERS: AMY AND LEE FRIEDMAN

Amy and Lee are parents to four children, and their youngest daughter, Jenna is in fifth grade. The Friedmans have found a deep sense of community at Shorecrest. They contributed to Shorecrest because of the support they received from the community in a time of need.

CONTRIBUTING CHARGERS: SUE SHIN ‘94 AND DANIEL KIM

Sue Shin ‘94 and Daniel Kim, are a Shorecrest "legacy family." As an alumna of Shorecrest, Sue has seen the lasting results of a Shorecrest education and wants the same for her children. For this reason and more, Sue Shin ‘94 and Daniel Kim have chosen to support Two Funds. One Mission.

"This is really a momentous time. We still have a long way to go, and we need all of your help. We need the entire community to be a part of this."

~ Dennis Leary, Chair, Board of Trustees; Shorecrest Parent and Alumni Parent

“My kids are the most important thing in my life. Shorecrest is their home away from home. What they gain here through classroom learning, role modeling, honor code, friendships — all of it — will shape them as human beings.”

~ Cristin Keane, Board member and current parent

"There will be a place for children of all ages to interact with each other, faculty from different schools to interact, parents, grandparents - it's really going to be a wonderful hub for our community and provide an opportunity for everyone to meet new people and to learn about other parts of the school that they may not normally see."

~ Beth Vivio, Vice-Chair, Board of Trustees, Shorecrest Parent and Alumni Parent

"Transform is much more than just a building. It's finishing the campus, it's creating a place where every student is going to go throughout the day. It's creating a place where the whole community can be together."

~ Elizabeth Samuelson, Immediate Past Chair, Board of Trustees; Shorecrest Parent

“Shorecrest itself has a need. Its infrastructure is not complete. What we are missing is the community commons, a common building with a dining hall and library  that brings the students and the entire community together. To complement the excellent faculty we have, we need the physical plant to complete that experience. It is my hope this community will rise to the occasion and get this campus completed.”

~ Tom Andrews, Past Chair, Board of Trustees; Shorecrest Parent and Alumni Parent

"This is really a momentous time. We still have a long way to go, and we need all of your help. We need the entire community to be a part of this."

~ Dennis Leary, Past Chair, Board of Trustees; Shorecrest Parent and Alumni Parent

“My kids are the most important thing in my life. Shorecrest is their home away from home. What they gain here through classroom learning, role modeling, honor code, friendships — all of it — will shape them as human beings.”

~ Cristin Keane, Board Member; Current parent

"There will be a place for children of all ages to interact with each other, faculty from different schools to interact, parents, grandparents - it's really going to be a wonderful hub for our community and provide an opportunity for everyone to meet new people and to learn about other parts of the school that they may not normally see."

~ Beth Vivio, Chair, Board of Trustees; Shorecrest Alumni Parent

"Transform is much more than just a building. It's finishing the campus, it's creating a place where every student is going to go throughout the day. It's creating a place where the whole community can be together."

~ Elizabeth Samuelson, Past Chair, Board of Trustees; Shorecrest Parent

“Shorecrest itself has a need. Its infrastructure is not complete. What we are missing is the community commons, a common building with a dining hall and library  that brings the students and the entire community together. To complement the excellent faculty we have, we need the physical plant to complete that experience. It is my hope this community will rise to the occasion and get this campus completed.”

~ Tom Andrews, Past Chair, Board of Trustees; Shorecrest Alumni Parent

Related News

A Community Endeavor: The Heart and Hearth of the Transform Campaign

When do communities come together? What inspires a group of connected individuals or families to quietly gather and offer their service, time and talents? Isn’t it easier to just go it alone…
Short term, it is true that we all have busy lives and personal goals, but the long term interdependency of a thriving school community was founded on our common and collective decision to raise, educate and care for our children together.

Mike Murphy Experiential School Ribbon Cutting

The morning of March 18 was an exciting one for Shorecrest’s Alpha and Junior Kindergarten students and their families as The Experiential School of Tampa Bay settled into its permanent home in the Mike Murphy Experiential School building. On the first day back from Spring Break, Chargers gathered for a celebration to acknowledge this special moment.

Toast and Tour

More than 150 people, including Shorecrest parents, board members, faculty and staff gathered on February 28 under a bubble-filled sky to celebrate the opening of the first floor of the new 60,000 square foot facility and the building's new name — Charger Commons. The Toast & Tour event provided an opportunity to toast to the tremendous progress of the reimagined lower campus and acknowledge the Shorecrest community for all of its efforts in making the first phase of the Transform Campaign a success.

Milestone Celebration reveals Charger Commons and much more!

On the morning of Thursday, February 28, 2019, the full Shorecrest community gathered to celebrate a major milestone in the Transform Campaign. Almost one year to the day of the campaign's public launch, the school community celebrated the opening of the first floor of the new 60,000 square foot facility and the building's new name - Charger Commons

Weiss Family Memorial

Since the tragic loss of the Weiss family - Mitchell, Leslie, Hannah '16 and Ari '20 - last year, several families, with the support of Headmaster Mike Murphy, have worked to determine how best to honor the Weiss Family on the Shorecrest campus. After a year of careful thought and reflection, the group is proud to share plans for the Weiss Family Stage with the community.

Shorecrest Announces Historic Philanthropic Evening

On Friday, January 11, a historic philanthropic evening for Shorecrest Preparatory School took place at Sea Salt in downtown St. Petersburg, FL. In one night, an event hosted by several Shorecrest families called “30 for 30” raised $1.2 million for the school’s Transform Campaign. Transform is the final puzzle piece to the Shorecrest campus: creating more than 60,000 square feet of new facilities and reimagining the lower campus to align with Shorecrest’s 2020 Vision & Strategic Plan.

Hard Hat Tours

The SCA Board Hard Had tour quickly filled to max capacity - but everyone should see the new Innovation Center and Community Commons before it is in use! Interested parents/guardians and grandparents are invited to join SCA for a hard hat tour onMonday, January 28 at noon. If you haven't had a tour yet, or have not toured since before December, the building is evolving daily and you'll be WOWed by the latest progress!

Kindergarten Construction Project

Even before students move in to the new Innovation Center and Community Commons, the Transform Campaign has already made a positive impact on the Shorecrest student experience. Kindergarten offered a prime example of this positive impact, as they followed their curiosity about the construction outside their classroom doors to pursue an in-depth investigation of construction - their driving question, "What's going on behind the green fence?"

Transform

Now is the time. After many months, our plans to add the missing pieces and complete the Shorecrest campus are available to all members of the community...

Transform Launch

On Friday, March 2, the full school community gathered for the public launch of the Transform Campaign. While some families and students knew the campaign...

Why We Believe in Transform

We want Shorecrest to be the place where children are inspired to learn, are with teachers who will stretch their imaginations, and are with peers who will be trusted and interesting friends...

Getting There

I am convinced our Shorecrest school community is united in wanting high quality, academic, value focused, safe, college preparatory educational programs...

We Are Transforming

Transform is no longer some future notion or hoped-for community endeavor waiting to unfold! It is here. It is real and Transform is 100% tangible. And by this fact alone, we are forever changed...

Transforming Together

It has been said that lighting a lamp for someone else will also brighten your path in return. No more true than for the Shorecrest giving community, with the Transform campaign igniting innovation and building community right before our eyes! ...

See it to Believe It

The old adage, "You gotta see it to believe it!" holds true with Transform. There is a growing chorus of excitement for the dynamic construction that changes daily at the crest of our campus...

Shorecrest Annual Fund + Transform

With more and more families joining Transform every week, the construction progress continues to grow excitement for our new Dining Hall, Innovation Center and Community Commons, Experiential School and a full acre and a half of newfound greenspace!

Planning the Transform Campaign

Sometimes it is important to step back from the canvas and let our eyes adjust to see the whole picture before dipping the brush in the next vibrant color...

Contact Shorecrest

For more information about Transform contact Michael Gillis, Director of Advancement, at mgillis@shorecrest.org.