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Keys College Looks To Build Upper Keys Campus

Pike Architects
Florida Keys Community College

Florida Keys Community College is based in Key West, at the end of the island chain. That's where it has its campus, including classrooms, library, dormitories and administration.

For decades, the college has offered classes in the Middle and Upper Keys through "centers" that collaborate with other institutions like the Monroe County School District.

But now the Keys college wants to build a campus of its own in the Upper Keys. And it's identified a location — a 1.12-acre of county-owned land near mile marker 99 in Key Largo. The Monroe County Commission is scheduled to consider a request from the college to give it the land at its meeting Wednesday in Key Largo.

FKCC President Jonathan Gueverra calls the Upper Keys area "highly populated and under-served" in a letter to the county.

Building an Upper Keys campus "would put FKCC's educational services in convenient proximity to many Monroe County residents, would improve the character of the surrounding community  and could bring revenue to Monroe County by drawing students from the nearby Homestead, Florida City and Miami areas," Gueverra wrote.

The plan calls for a mix of classroom buildings, dormitories and "attendant facilities," Gueverra wrote. Under current land-use rules, the college could build up to 19,000 square feet of institutional facilities and 16 dormitory units, he wrote.

Nancy Klingener covers the Florida Keys for WLRN. Since moving to South Florida in 1989, she has worked for the Miami Herald, Solares Hill newspaper and the Monroe County Public Library.