The Monroe County School District is looking for an architect to design renovations for the athletic fields behind Marathon High School and perform related work that could cost up to $4 million.
The district wants architectural plans for increased and improved student parking, elimination of the center entry to the school off of Sombrero Beach Road and better drainage throughout the fields.
“That’s the primary need for all of this — to raise the fields for better drainage,” said Pat Lefere, executive director of operations and planning for the School District. “The ground does not drain well, so the fields flood and they get torn up and it’s difficult maintaining turf on the fields. We just know we’d like to raise them and since we’re doing that, we’d like to consider our other options.”
The football field is interchangeably used for soccer games, separate from a softball field and baseball diamond. The playing surfaces will be raised about 18 inches, Lefere said.
Bid documents request plans for press box renovations and replacement of the concession stand and restrooms building, as well.
The $2 million to $4 million project won’t start for at least another year and a half, Lefere said. Additional options include plans for a running path with a rubber track surface.
“Administrators said they don’t necessarily need a track but something to run on and that’s where we’ll let the architect come up with some options and look into what’s even feasible,” Lefere said.
A portion of the neighboring property, formerly the Marathon Manor nursing home, could be used. The district has owned the six-acre property for 12 years and spent $7.4 million to buy the land. It has remained empty since.
“In talking to the school administrators, one of their shortfalls right now is parking spots, so we’re going to look for some redesign options and an increase in student parking,” Lefere said.
According to Jessica Bailey, district bid coordinator, the anticipated date for the architect bid award is April 25.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219