Marco Island Academy moves into new home

Students Gabriel Gonzalez, left, Andrew Delgado, Marcus Seidman and J.P. Brito gather for opening day Monday at Marco Island Academy's new campus on San Marco Road next to Key Marco. Students described it as more of a school feel with a lot more space. School Resource Officer Al Schettino reminded parents that the police will radar two times a day in the school zone when lights are flashing until the end of the school year. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Students Gabriel Gonzalez, left, Andrew Delgado, Marcus Seidman and J.P. Brito gather for opening day Monday at Marco Island Academy's new campus on San Marco Road next to Key Marco. Students described it as more of a school feel with a lot more space. School Resource Officer Al Schettino reminded parents that the police will radar two times a day in the school zone when lights are flashing until the end of the school year. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

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— After leasing a space from a church for a year and a half, Marco Island Academy now has a home of its own.

Students returned Monday from spring break to a new campus at 2255 San Marco Road. The fact that Marco Island Academy now has a campus of its own is “amazing,” said Jane Watt, founder and chairwoman of the board for the science, technology, engineering and math-focused high charter school.

“Our vision was always to be able to have a campus where the educational facility would actually almost meld into the environment,” she said. “And this campus absolutely will facilitate that because we’re literally right in the middle of a beautiful, beautiful location where kids can walk out the door and be set in nature.”

Charter schools are public schools operated by private groups based on charters with the school board. They are tuition-free and funded by tax dollars, but have more flexibility with teacher salaries, work days, class-size reduction laws, and in accepting students.

Since Marco Island Academy opened in fall 2011, it has been housed in a church-owned building next to the Family Church on Winterberry Drive, on the island. In that location, it could only accommodate about 100 students. Watt said the school spent $1.2 million on the new campus, all of which was generated through donations.

Volunteers including parents, students and community members moved the campus during spring break.

The new site includes six classrooms connected by a rooftop, Watt said. It can accommodate 225 students and be expanded to serve up to 400. Next year, the charter school — which currently serves students in grades nine through eleven — plans to add 12th grade.

Enrollment is currently open for next year. Additional information is available on the school’s website, marcoislandacademy.com.

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Comments » 7

PANTHER22 writes:

So what's the deal with the police running radar there twce a day. They waste their time and manpower running radar there for years trying to enhance the city's coffers at the expense of unsuspecting out of town drivers. Welcome to Marco and the unprofessional PD.

DOSEOFREALITY writes:

Klaus Stoertebeker, I have noticed you have been very generous with propping up and congratulating Jane Watt. Even noting a nomination for volunteer of the year. Be careful ( I nominated her in 2012 but after doing some investigation I now regret that nomination) and don't stick your neck out to far. It's not what you think. Jane Watt controls even bit of PR and the writers but there is another story that has not written. If you have not noticed this new campus is over a year late, is not brick & mortar as originally presented, does not have a solarium, missing 1 of a kind programs and other basics, etc... Take a good look inside at the business side of it and if you are still a Jane Watt supporter then open your wallet real wide. It's a few generous contributors and less than a dozen of Marco Island Families holding this together with string & twigs. Newcomers to the school are going to be blown away once they realize it's mostlty a facade.

DOSEOFREALITY writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If not be quiet?

I took you as better mannered and reasonable person walking with your eyes open. The comments are clear if you read the message. Exposing Jane Watt would only hurt the children so I will be brief. I have witnessed the same thing happen with the middle school on the island and once they ejected the problem the school advanced. Take the opportunity to meet her and ask real questions about the business of the school. If you have the understanding and ability to evaluate the business you will find the answer. Other than that, what I read in the papers about Jane Watt is nothing more than controlled PR. Do you believe the WH Administration claiming Obamacare is the best solution to national healthcare paln? It to will go bust but Obamacare had funding to get off the ground.

In the end, I regret nominating Jane Watt as the 2012 Volunteer of the Year and pleased she was not awarded.

captnjimbo writes:

You guys should exchange phone numbers.

MrBreeze writes:

I had a chance to see the new school over the weekend. It looks good for the location and should work very well.

I would not agree the same thing would have been acceptable on tract K as was commented the building was to be brick and mortar not modular. So all work out well the sight and buildings seem perfect to me.

captnjimbo writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

I had a chance to see the new school over the weekend. It looks good for the location and should work very well.

I would not agree the same thing would have been acceptable on tract K as was commented the building was to be brick and mortar not modular. So all work out well the sight and buildings seem perfect to me.

Mr. Breeze I totally agree...I also drove out there, got out of the car and walked around, looked in the doorways into the classrooms. I think it is a charming set up. I also think getting to go outside between classes will be good.

The outdoor dining area is going to be a little bright...will need some shelter...so another fundraiser perhaps.

I like it.

MrBreeze writes:

I am sure that as with all things new some tweaking will be needed. I am glad that the school found that site as was able to locate there. It is just the right use for all the right reasons.

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