Marathon High sports complex could start in summer 2018

The Monroe County School District is moving forward with plans for a $3.5 million upgrade to sports facilities and other things at Marathon High School.

Pat Lefere, executive director of operations and planning for the School District, said Tampa-based Rowe Architects Inc. and BSSW Architects, based in Fort Myers, are coming up with plans for increased and improved student parking, elimination of the center entry to the school off 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,” Lefere told the Keynoter in February. Thursday, Lefere said the district wants the project to start in summer 2018.

Fill from the $32 million rebuild of Plantation Key School in Tavernier will be used to raise the fields, he 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.

“How much of that property will be used is the question,” Lefere said. “I think design plans will create some conversation with the community and we want to make sure we give the community an opportunity to weigh in.”

A community meeting has not been planned.


Plans are still on track for a $23 million project at Stanley Switlik Elementary School to be finished by fall 2020, according to Michael Skrodinsky, facilities planner for the district. Design plans should be finished by the start of 2018.

The main classroom building will be torn down and rebuilt. The cafeteria, built in 2000, will be revamped along with a 29,000-square-foot classroom building. Switlik Elementary, near mile marker 48.5 bayside, will be the third Monroe County School District elementary school to be revamped in recent years.

“We’re making some good headway but looking at different options,” Skodinsky said of the district’s work with Harvard Jolly Architecture.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219