The new Marine Technology Building has propelled Florida Keys Community College into a new era for maritime education.
Overlooking the dive-training lagoon, the three-story facility houses a high-tech marine engine facility unlike any other in the Southeast.
The 30,000 square-foot home of the college’s signature programs of Marine Engineering, Management and Seamanship was completed in the spring of 2014. Ajax served as the construction manager for the $5.5 million project.
A ground-floor garage space is used to store boats, trailers and engines in need of repair. Two hatches in the ceiling open up to allow a 2,000-pound winch to hoist the heavy marine engines up to the second floor for hands-on student training.
Control rooms feature sophisticated ventilation systems and the most current equipment to test and diagnose engine problems.
A breathtaking view of the Gulf welcomes students to the third floor. Immense classrooms, charting tables and 90-inch monitors controlled by iPads fill the space, along with labs, faculty offices, a break room and shower/locker room.
The tilt wall method was used in construction. Hays Cumming Architects in Saint Petersburg, FL, designed the project.
“The technology infused in the lab space will allow our instructors to interact with the students in ways we’ve never been able to before,” said Patrick Rice, dean of career technical and workforce education.