MARCO ISLAND — Marco Island’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee discussed final dates at its Tuesday meeting. The last winter concert at Mackle Park is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 21. The final Farmers Market in Veterans’ Park will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24.
Just as quickly as in-season activities expire, Lola Dial and Alex Galiana told the committee, summer activities will ramp up. Dial is teen recreation manager and Galiana is the city’s recreation supervisor.
The end-of-school Teen Beach Bash has been scheduled for 1-5 p.m. on Monday, June 3, the day before school ends. The date is also an early release day. The party features music, games, pizza and sodas for teens in grades 6-12 and will be held at Marco Island’s south beach. Park staff decided to hold the bash before school’s final day so it would not conflict with 8th grade graduation.
Mackle Park’s summer camp will begin June 5 and continue until Aug. 16. This year’s theme is: “It’s a jungle out there.” Campers will travel the world through programmed activities, visiting some of the globe’s most famous jungles and rainforests. Park staff will be hiring summer camp councilors and is taking applications for teens to become councilors-in-training.
The city parks department is planning an open house in early May at its new sailing center at the Marco Island Yacht Club on North Collier Boulevard. Park staff also is looking to expand its sailing program to include high school and adult sailing teams capable of competing in regattas.
Galiana reported playing fields at Mackle and Winterberry parks would look browner in the next few weeks as winter rye dies back in the heat and dormant Bermuda grass begins to sprout. The fields should recover in time for Marco Island Academy and Optimist spring football training, he said.
Gerald Swiacki, a committee member, asked if more adult activities could be programmed at Mackle Park during the summer. Galiana said with the large number of children participating in summer camp, the park’s facilities were full.
Bryan Milk, community affairs director, told the committee some adult activities are relocated in the summer to a second-floor room at the Racquet Center on San Marco Road. The room is adequate, he said, but not handicapped accessible.
Milk explained his discussion with city councilors Monday and outlined some of the updates in the current proposal for a new Mackle Park Community Center. In construction costs, he told the committee, a custom building could be priced at $175-$200 per square foot. Steel buildings cost between $150 and $165 a square foot.
The new concept Milk presented to council could cost as little as $110-$140 per square foot depending on any special requirements. The building would be constructed from pre-engineered concrete panels by Royal Concrete Concepts. Milk said he was interested in phasing in the new facility starting with an 8,000- to 8,500-square-foot building.
Eliminating design costs, already included in Royal Concrete Concepts base fee, was a benefit of using the contractor, he said. Being able to continue programs in the existing building during construction was another.
The committee agreed that reducing the original request from 40,000 to 8,500 square feet and phasing in portions of the building made the cost more manageable. They questioned whether renovations to the existing building would extend its life enough to be cost effective.
Milk told them he would have bid proposals ready for council in May outlining costs to rehabilitate the existing building’s roof, air conditioning, bathrooms, insulation and other repairs. At that time, he felt, it would be clear whether renovation or replacement was the best option.