Education

Switlik, MHS plans see progress

This is a design sketch of what Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon will look like when construction is done, schools officials say.
This is a design sketch of what Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon will look like when construction is done, schools officials say. Monroe County School District

The planning phase of construction projects at a cost of more than $40 million on schools in the Middle Keys continues.

Monroe County School Board members recently heard an update on projects that will start in the coming months at Stanley Switlik Elementary School, mile marker 48.5 bayside, and on Marathon High School’s athletic fields.

At the elementary school, the main classroom building will be torn down and rebuilt. It will be replaced with a two-story building with a media center. There will also be a new building for administration. The cafeteria will be revamped along with the 29,000-square-foot classroom building named after Sue Moore.

“We’re coming to the end of the design development phase,” said Pat Lefere, executive director of operations and planning for the district.

This fall, 17 trailers will be put on the property acting as classrooms, he said. By winter 2019, the kids will be in the new main classroom building so renovations can start on the Sue Moore building and cafeteria, he said.

“We plan completion in summer 2020 on renovation and new construction for the Stanley Switlik project,” Lefere said. When all is said and done, the project will cost around $38 million, he said.

Designs are still not done for the athletic fields at Marathon High School, but a new track field will be put where the former Marathon Manor nursing home is.

The School District bought the Marathon Manor property adjacent to Marathon High School, 350 Sombrero Beach Road, for $7.4 million 13 years ago with the possibility of building affordable housing on it. It has been empty since.

How much of the school property will be used for water retention is unknown, which is the reason for the project. The sports fields often flood.

“The original plan was to use all of next school year to do this project, and there was a request to see if we could accelerate that,” Lefere said. “I think there was some thought we might be able to pull it off by the start of this football season and there is just no way we’re going to be able to do that.”

A portion of nursing home property will be used in the $5 million project for athletic fields, a track and increased parking.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219

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