KEY LARGO – Plans for the new energy efficient Marathon Library and Adult Education Center were unveiled Wednesday at the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners meeting in Key Largo.
“We are trying to build a facility that meets the community’s needs,” Monroe County Projects Management and Facilities Director Doug Sposito said.
Artist renditions and floor plans of the 14,861 square-foot facility were shown. They include 12,322 square feet of dedicated library space (about double the space of the existing library), 2,539 square feet for adult education and 46 parking spaces at a 3.8-acre site at 35th Street and the Overseas Highway in Marathon. It also will have a climate controlled archival space for the Monroe County History Department.
Design and construction documents are expected to be completed in December, with construction beginning in Spring 2017. If all goes well, the new facility is expected to open in Spring 2018.
The facility is being built 2 feet above the elevations required by the code and will be able to withstand hurricane winds of 200 mph. It also will meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The building also will meet Florida Green Building Coalition standards, with 16 green items that include low flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting, native landscaping that needs little to no irrigation, bicycle racks and an electric car charging station.
“I read through all 52 pages of the plan, and I was impressed,” said Monroe County Commissioner David Rice, who represents Marathon.
Monroe County Mayor Heather Carruthers and Commissioner George Neugent both asked that Sposito also investigate adding solar panels to the project.
Construction costs for the building are budgeted for $6 million, which includes IT equipment for Monroe County but not the School Board. That price tag also does not include furniture or fixtures. Architecture costs are $506,000.
The County is still deciding what to do with the existing Marathon Library when the new facility is done.
“We may repurpose the old library, which could have a few more years of use,” Sposito said. “There are a lot of ideas out there right now we are sorting through them.”