The Monroe County School Board will get an update on the planned $3.5 million Marathon sports complex next week.
Plans include adding parking, raising the fields at Marathon Middle/High School and adding more space altogether.
Pat Lefere, district executive director of operations and planning, will deliver the presentation during the workshop portion of the School Board’s meeting, set for Tuesday at Marathon/Middle High School, 350 Sombrero Beach Road, starting at 10:30 a.m. with a workshop followed by an 11 a.m. meeting.
Construction on the complex could begin next summer. Fill from the $32 million rebuild of Plantation Key School in Tavernier will be used to raise the fields, Lefere has said.
A portion of the school’s 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.
“The original purpose of buying Marathon Manor remains the same reason today: To benefit a space-challenged high school,” said board member Andy Griffiths. “It’s very common for school boards to purchase adjacent land to land-challenged schools.”
“Marathon is very limited,” Griffiths said. “We’d like to have more parking, especially for special events. We’d like t have a track.”
Also, the board is about to dig into budget season. The first of four budget hearings is tentatively set for July 25 in Key West.
But while cities like Key West have fiscal years that begin Oct. 1., the School District’s fiscal year already opened July 1.
“We’re already paying people, paying contracts,” Griffiths said. “People are 85 percent of our budget.”
Griffiths said, “The budget process for us is perverted, you can use that word. Ain’t nothing going to change at a school board budget hearing.”
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen