|Artist's conception of how the Manatee Technical Institute campus will look when completed.|
|A work in progress. The new MTI campus this week. (Photo by Jim Jones)|
Not only with an impressive new facility with lots of gleaming glass going up next door to Braden River High School, and just a little west of Interstate 75, but with class offerings starting next year. Those class offerings will relate directly to the job market and will be life-changers for untold thousands in years to come.
Ground was broken on the site in June 2011 with a projected completion date of December 2012.
The project is on schedule and move-in is slated for January 2013, says Margi Nanney, Manatee school district spokeswoman.
Here is former Bradenton Herald education reporter Angeline Taylor's story from the groundbreaking:
School Superintendent Tim McGonegal stood atop a backhoe that dug into the earth a stone’s throw from Braden River High School on State Road 70 Tuesday. School Board members and district officials held shovels in front of McGonegal.
The occasion: breaking ground for Manatee Technical Institute’s new main campus.
Construction is slated to begin on the new $44 million, 210,000-square- foot facility this month. It’s scheduled to be complete by December 2012 and will open for students in January 2013. About 50 people including state Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, law enforcement officers and firefighters came to the ground-breaking program held at the future site of the technical institute.
“What a fantastic location to put a world-class institution as MTI,” McGonegal said to the seated guests. “Thank you for being here and when we have a grand opening we will invite you back.”
John Ziemnicki, chairman of MTI’s board of governors, said, “This project has required leadership, foresight, careful planning and ingenuity. It is now a dream come true.”
School Board Chairman Robert Gause said, “this is going to be a state-of-the-art facility.”
Doug Wagner, director of adult, career and technical education, explained that district officials and MTI Director Mary Cantrell had redesigned the facility three times. He said it was 48 years ago that the district started workforce programs for Manatee County students.
“Getting here has not been easy,” Wagner said. “But we realize breaking ground on this beautiful building has been worth the wait.”
Notables such as former school superintendent Dan Nolan and MTI board member emeritus Dr. Richard Conard also were in attendance.
“This represents bringing together all of our other facilities,” Dr. Conard said.
But he doesn’t want school officials to forget the ingenuity that brought the current MTI site together on 34th street.
“We don’t want to forget -- what we call -- the miracle on 34th Street,” he said, lovingly referring to the current site. “It has served us well.”
MTI’s medical and dental center, at Lakewood Ranch, is named after Dr. Conard. The facility also houses programs for first responders, including police officers and firefighters.