Schools’ summer construction heats up in Manatee; old Manatee Technical College coming down

The tennis courts at King Middle School are in the middle of an upgrade
The tennis courts at King Middle School are in the middle of an upgrade FILE PHOTO

The former main campus for Manatee Technical College is being prepared for demolition this summer, and passersby can expect to see work start in the next few weeks.

The board, which first approved demolishing the 34th Street West campus in September, recently signed off on the final price tag for the work, to the tune of $1.5 million. Work has started inside the building, director of construction services Jane Dreger said Monday.

“They’re setting up the asbestos abatement areas now,” Dreger said.

From the outside perspective, it won’t look like much is happening at the site until the end of July and the beginning of August, Dreger said, until the asbestos abatement is done.

“Then you might see some activity,” she said.

The campus has been mostly vacant since 2013, when the State Road 70 building opened and the bulk of programs began operating out of that facility. Since then, school officials said, the building has fallen into disrepair and become a safety concern and an eyesore.

Two buildings will not be part of the demolition project, because they are are still in use for storage and a gun range for law enforcement.

The school board has not yet decided what to do with the land once demolition is completed.

The MTC project is only one of many summer construction projects underway this summer, before school picks back up for students on Aug. 10. Here’s a look at some of the other projects:

▪ Bashaw Elementary: The addition at Bashaw Elementary School has been started, with the building slab already completed. The total scope of the Bashaw project includes expanding the cafeteria and office spaces, upgrading ceiling tiles, installing new carpet and resilient flooring, minor traffic upgrades and complete upgrades to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, according to the district paperwork.

This project will also include an upgraded storm water system throughout the entire campus, new metal roofing for the entire campus, and new covered walkways to replace the existing covered walkways.

The eight-classroom building addition is being funded by impact fees, since is specifically covers the growth occurring in that area of the county.

The total cost of the Bashaw project: $14.6 million.

▪ Oneco Elementary School: The oldest building on campus has been demolished and five portables are being installed in its place.

As the district mulls plans for what to do with the school, which may include finding a new location in the same area, officials still wanted to address problems with the building, which had deteriorated.

Cost for the Oneco project: $747,000.

▪ King Middle School: The tennis courts at King Middle, which serve at home turf for the Manatee High School tennis team, are also anticipated to be complete this week. The project, approved by the school board in January, was a vast renovation.

New asphalt has gone down and coating materials are on-site.

Cost for the King Middle project: $375,000.

▪ School support center: The Manatee Avenue building, which holds the board meeting room and various district offices, is in the midst of major work to the main entrance and lobby area.

The two elevators are also being updated and modernized. The latest updates have the project on schedule.

Cost of the center’s project: $636,000.

▪ Johnson Middle and Wakeland Elementary: Another part of the district’s overall long-term plan, a request for proposal is still out for companies to bid on the work necessary to make the Johnson Middle School facility able to hold both the middle school and the elementary school students from Wakeland.

Wakeland students will stay in their facility for the 2016-17 year, but the district plans to combine both the elementary and middle school international baccalaureate programs for the following year. That’ll involve at least one building to hold the youngest students and some other renovation work in the Johnson building.

Those requests aren’t due until the first week of August, and staff will have to review the bids before awarding a contract and having a company start the work.

Other projects include: new auditorium lighting at Bayshore High, driveway renovations at Kinnan Elementary, cafeteria HVAC work at Blackburn Elementary, and HVAC work at Manatee High School.

Meghin Delaney: 941-745-7081, @MeghinDelaney