Architects give update on Switlik school project

This is what Stanley Switlik Elementary School might look like after a $23 million renovation.
This is what Stanley Switlik Elementary School might look like after a $23 million renovation.

Architects working on a $23 million project for Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon said Thursday night they’re mid-stride with design plans.

At a community meeting held at the school, 3400 Overseas Highway near mile marker 48.5 bayside, architects with Harvard Jolly Architecture told the public they hope to have the elementary school renovations and two new buildings finished by fall 2020.

Design plans should be finished by the start of 2018 and construction could start in June 2018, said architect Stephen Johnson, who gave a slideshow of conceptual drawings.

It will be the third Monroe County School District elementary school to be revamped in recent years. About 550 students attend it.

Architect Rene Tercilla said he and Johnson have spent a lot of time planning on how to “expand connectivity to the environment” and extend learning spaces. There will be an outdoor amphitheater-style classroom area.

“We want to end up with a cool space and we’re trying to excite the kids. We don’t want it to look like a college — we want it to appeal to them and interest them,” he said. That means the possible use of bright color schemes and even unusually shaped doorways.

The main classroom building, which houses the library and was built in 1971, will be torn down and rebuilt. It will be a two-story building with a media center as the “heartbeat” of the school, Johnson said.

There will also be a new building for administration.

The cafeteria, built in 2000, will be revamped along with the 29,000-square-foot classroom building named after Sue Moore and constructed in 1997. Moore was one of the first teachers in Marathon.

The district is in the midst of building a new Plantation Key School in Tavernier, which at last count was costing $32 million, and a new $32-million Gerald Adams Elementary School on Stock Island.

A date for the next meeting is still in the works.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219