BRADENTON, Fla. – Soon it will be full speed ahead for construction crews at Manatee Elementary School, as they work to repair a building badly damaged in a fire last November.

Manatee Elementary School's administration building was built in 1926 and is the oldest the School District of Manatee County operates. Before the fire it housed offices, the auditorium, and a number of classrooms.

As of February 2020 enrollment at Manatee Elementary is well under capacity at roughly 400 students. Due to redistricting, the school is expecting to boom in August with 670 students. The school is only built to accommodate 674 students.

Jane Dreger, construction services director for the district, says they are aiming to have the renovations and repairs complete by mid-July.

The repairs will consist of new floors, ceilings, and walls in some areas.



“There was quite a bit of smoke damage because the whole time the fire was going, the HVAC system was on,” Dreger explained. “So it got into the duct work.”

Repairs are expected to cost roughly $700,000. Part of the cost will be covered by the school district’s insurance.