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Old Tavernier School seen as future senior center

The historic Old Tavernier School that also saw also duty as a hurricane shelter and health clinic likely will be the site of Monroe County’s relocated Upper Keys senior center.
The historic Old Tavernier School that also saw also duty as a hurricane shelter and health clinic likely will be the site of Monroe County’s relocated Upper Keys senior center. FlKeysNews.com file

A Tavernier building with historic significance could find new life as a center for senior-citizen activities.

The old Tavernier School on Georgia Avenue was built by the federal Works Progress Administration after the deadly 1935 Labor Day hurricane destroyed the community’s school. It was finished in the 1938-39 period.

Monroe County now has plans to renovate the structure at a cost of more than $500,000 to house activities currently based at the Plantation Key Senior Center in the Plantation Key Government Center near mile marker 88.8.

The courthouse complex is about to undergo extensive changes that will require demolition of the existing center, also known as the AARP building.

“Permanent relocation of the Senior Center [and] AARP operations to the Historic Tavernier School, along with installing temporary portable facilities for the Social Services group at the Tavernier site, was determined to be the best short- and long-term option available that fulfilled the operating group’s requirements,” says a project-management report to the Monroe County Commission.

The Old Tavernier School also has served as community hurricane shelter and as a base for the Monroe County Health Department.

On Wednesday, county commissioners approved a $58,075 contract amendment for architectural designs at the old school.

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