Orlando’s University High Wins People’s Choice Competition

University High School OrlandoThe Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) recently celebrated University High School in Orlando on winning the 2022 People’s Choice Competition. The People’s Choice Competition, sponsored by the Florida Foundation for Architecture and AIA Florida, aims to raise public awareness of Florida’s architecture.

“The University High School community has always taken great pride in the beauty and unique nature of our campus,” Principal Thomas Ott said when the school was nominated. “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.”




The contest focused on K-12 educational facilities, which empower and elevate their communities like few other buildings can. The group credited AIA Florida President Lourdes Solera and FAIA’s leadership theme of Empower and Elevate this year.

A panel of Florida architects chose 14 schools from around Florida. University High School, a Mediterranean-style building centered on a communal plaza, won the contest by a wide margin. University High’s principal Thomas Ott accepted the award on behalf of the school at AIA Florida’s Design & Honor Awards Presentation at The Breakers in Palm Beach.

In total, the contest garnered well over 1.5 million votes from around the world, raising awareness of Florida’s architecture and its power to change lives.

The schools in the contest were:

  • University High School, Orlando
  • The Greene School, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Hillsborough High School, Tampa
  • Tallahassee School of Arts and Sciences, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Dune Lakes Elementary School, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
  • Tice Elementary School, Fort Myers, Florida
  • Rampello K-8 Downtown Partnership Magnet School, Tampa
  • Alexander Montessori School, Miami
  • Dreyfoos School of the Arts, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Mayport Coastal Sciences Middle School, Atlantic Beach, Florida
  • Pine Forest Elementary School, Jacksonville
  • Pine View School, Osprey, Florida
  • Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High School, North Miami Beach, Florida

The Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects, headquartered in Tallahassee, represents the interests of more than 3,900 members in Florida. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice.

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