Friday, May 31, 2013

Manatee Technical Institute and Marlite Surface Systems


Architect: FAWLEY BRYANT ARCHITECTS, Michael Bryant - Principal Architect, James Dickason – Project Architect, and Sarah Colandro - Director of Interior Design.

The "new" MTI really began in 1996 when the school district hired Fawley Bryant to develop a Master Plan for the campus. At that time the district recognized improvements needed to be made to the then 40 year old campus. During the course of developing that Master Plan the seeds were sown for a new campus. While the Master Plan to renovate the existing 34th Street campus progressed, it never materialized in actual construction. Realizing the potential and value MTI has for the community, the district in 2003 committed to creating a new MTI "state-of-the-art, globally recognized campus" and through a competitive interview process hired the team of Fawley Bryant and internationally-known architects Hellmuth Obata Kassabaum (HOK) to design the new MTI.

Over the course of a year that included numerous public meetings with over 100 citizens, teachers and students, a Master Plan was developed that identified programs of study, the sites for 2 new MTI campuses and a capital commitment of over $65 million dollars. It was during this exploration phase that the commitment to create a satellite campus in Lakewood Ranch and a new main campus on SR70 realized the regional impact MTI has on surrounding counties and the importance to make the campuses more accessible regionally.

The first phase of construction was the 50,000 s.f. Health Occupation Building and Fire Academy in 2005 which created the new MTI Lakewood Ranch campus. In 2008 the 50,000 s.f. Law Academy Building was constructed.

After almost a 3 year delay in constructing the New MTI main campus, the district relocated the building to the SR70 site and construction began in 2011.


The new Manatee Technical Institute represents a modern, high tech training facility to meet the workforce needs of Manatee County. Designed with the latest energy efficient construction and teaching technologies, this facility compares with surrounding universities in quality and features.

Project materials were chosen for their high-tech aesthetics, long-lasting durability, ease of maintenance, and adherence to budget.  Fawley Bryant chose terrazzo and chemical-resistant floorings, Marlite wall panel systems to highlight special features in public areas, perforated aluminum ceiling tiles, and custom signage and graphics to bring the entire facility design together.

The Marlite representative and local fabricators were integral team members throughout the design & construction process.  They came to the table with great awareness of project goals, and offered cost effective solutions to the variety of onsite conditions.

Unique features of the design include:

The large open multipurpose space that on a daily basis serves as the 400 seat campus dining space, and hosts special events that accommodate up to 700 people. The space has a large format video and enhanced sound system.

The Media Center is not the conventional media center. Rather, it is an internet café, study space and tutoring place. Built-in computer stations and individual tutor rooms are provided for students to research and learn. Private individual study rooms can be used by individuals or for team study.

The overall design incorporates larger windows in the corridors so activities within all the labs and all classrooms can be viewed by anyone walking by.

The shape of the design creates two large exterior courtyards where related programs share work and projects. One courtyard is for construction programs and where the yearly Habitat for Humanity house will be built (and later transported to a site), and the other courtyard is used for general purpose and industrial trade programs.

The computer labs have an adjacent “break-out room” where students may come together in a smaller room and work on a project. Designed with large glass areas these rooms are also viewed from the adjacent corridor and lab.

The Cosmetology Lab provides many public services and as such is given a prominent location on the first level near the main entrance. Patrons getting their hair cut may also use the dining facilities. All training labs are open plan designs that allow flexibility for changes that allow new programs to be introduced as workforce demands dictate.


Located at the prominent intersection of State Route 70 and Caruso Road, close to I-75, MTI is a good neighbor to Braden River High School by providing landscape buffer and traffic improvements at Caruso Road.


• MTI occupies 22 acres, adjacent school board vacant parcels: 10 acres west, 8 acres east
• Includes 573 asphalt parking spaces/135 grass parking spaces

• Square footage is approximately 215,000 s.f.
• Includes the following programs: culinary, automotive, marine technology, cosmetology, composites, drafting, welding, machining, electrical, building construction trades, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), masonry/plumbing, appliance repair, electronics, web design, internet/computer
• Others spaces: auditorium (160 seats), media center, administration offices, book store and a large, open multi-purpose/dining room (400 seats for tables, or 700 for larger events)
• Provides for 860 student stations

• Modern tilt-wall concrete, glass curtain wall structure, one and two story construction
• Includes outdoor courtyards for teaching
• Construction took 18 months


Michael Bryant, Executive Vice President of FAWLEY BRYANT ARCHITECTS, INC. notes ”The design of the new MTI Main Campus has been an intense and long process, and the dream of many people, including staff, students, community supporters and business partners. We have all worked together to create the kind of facility this community deserves and needs. This design is meant to attract your attention and have a presence that elevates MTI to its proper position as one of the most well respected technical schools in the country.”  As such, it will become one of the most significant economic drivers for future growth of Manatee County by providing the training of our current workforce and those of our future."

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