- June 30, 2022
The School District of Manatee County has forged ahead with construction projects aimed at updating facilities at Braden River Middle School and Gene Witt Elementary School.
Other schools that will see construction upgrades are Lakewood Ranch High School, Freedom Elementary and Carlos E. Haile Middle School.
Capital projects at Lakewood Ranch High, Freedom Elementary and Haile Middle include classroom additions that would help increase capacity.
Lakewood Ranch High especially needs the additional space because it has 2,400 students in a school with an 1,800 capacity.
Work also is planned at Tara Elementary, but the district hasn’t decided whether to renovate or replace, according to Bill Horton, the school district’s new director of construction services.
Horton said the results of the Castaldi analysis, which cost the district $4,850, should be available in a month.
If the analysis determines it is more cost effective to replace Tara Elementary rather than renovate, Horton said the information will be presented to Cynthia Saunders, the superintendent of the district, who will then determine if she wants to pursue that direction. If Saunders chooses to replace the school, the information will be shared with the School Board of Manatee County, and if the board decides to replace the school, the study will be submitted to the Department of Education for approval or denial.
Manatee Technical College also will see an expansion that includes a two-story building for adult education classrooms, testing center, labs, circulation and restrooms on its main campus on State Road 70. MTC also will have a new firing range and driving course in Myakka City.
Here’s what construction and renovations students, teachers and families can expect to see at East County schools:
Gene Witt Elementary School
Budget: $23.4 million
Renovation and eight-classroom addition
Scope of work: New ceilings, roofs, ductwork, lighting and paint; enhanced campus security; enlarged cafeteria; reconfigured administration area; and upgraded restrooms.
Completed work: Construction of eight-classroom addition, renovations in all buildings except the administration building and traffic queueing
Current work: Completion of the reconfiguration and renovation of the administration building.
Timeline: Began site work in June 2019; began construction in June 2019; total project completion is expected in August 2021.
Project is under budget and a year ahead of schedule.
Braden River Middle School
Budget: $26 million
Renovation and six-classroom addition
Scope of work: Comprehensive campuswide renovation that includes new ceilings, ductwork, lighting, paint, flooring and technology, as well as upgraded restrooms, enlarged cafeteria, enhanced campus security and reconfigured media center and administration area
Completed work: Additional portables put on campus in March
Current work: Reconfiguration of administration area, construction on the six-classroom addition, renovation on Building 6 and enlargement of the cafeteria
Timeline: Additional portables in place in March; construction began in April; work on Building 1 is expected to be complete in the fall; total project completion is expected in August 2022.
Lakewood Ranch High School
Budget: $16.5 million
Scope of work: New 20-classroom, two-story wing addition and the relocation and/or removal of portables and associated site work
Completed work: The architect and construction manager have been approved, and the project is in the schematic design stage.
Current work: Schematic design
Timeline: Complete design and permitting of the project expected to take about 10 months with construction starting afterward; estimated completion date for the project is fall 2023.
Tara Elementary School
Budget: $27.5 million
Renovation or replacement and four-classroom addition
Scope of work: Castaldi analysis; if a renovation is conducted, the renovation will include replacing roof and covered walkways as needed and the renovation of the school’s mechanical systems; four-classroom wing addition.
Current work: Castaldi analysis
Timeline: The district is working on a Castaldi analysis to determine whether it is more cost effective to replace or renovate the school. Results from the analysis are expected in a month. The district and school board then will determine a course of action based on the results of the analysis.
Carlos E. Haile Middle School
Budget: $36.13 million
Renovation and 10-classroom addition
Scope of work: Renovation of entire school and 10-classroom addition and associated covered walkway to replace portables
Status of project: An advertisement for an architect and construction manager have not been posted. Horton said the district will post upcoming projects in the fall.
Freedom Elementary School
Budget: $3.93 million
Scope of work: Addition of eight-classroom wing and associated covered walkway to replace portables
Status of project: Advertisements for an architect and a construction manager have not been posted. Horton said the district will post upcoming projects in the fall.
Manatee Technical College main campus
Budget: To be determined
Expansion including two-story building
Scope of work: Construction of two-story building for adult education classrooms, testing center, labs, circulation and restrooms
Status of project: Architect contract will be presented to the school board for approval July 27. The district is working on the design of the facility. No date has been set to advertise for the construction manager.
Manatee Technical College firing range and driving course
Budget: $4 million
New firing range and driving course in Myakka City
Scope of work: Construction of outdoor shooting lanes with backstops and control booth, small classroom building, regulation driving pad, parking area and associated site work and stormwater retention
Status of project: The design process will begin after the school board approves the architect contract July 27. Once approved, design and permitting should take about eight months with construction taking about a year.
The Manatee Technical College Law Enforcement Academy, the Bradenton Police Department and other stakeholders are working together on the project.