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Busy year of development coming for reservations

The next phase of the Ahfachkee School expansion in Big Cypress. (Rendering courtesy TCD)

Development plans currently underway on paper are scheduled to emerge physically in 2022. According to Tribal Community Development, ground will be broken for large projects on the Big Cypress, Brighton and Immokalee reservations. Here’s an update on several projects.

Big Cypress

A senior center, preschool and event facility that can also be used as a hurricane shelter will break ground in March at the site of the old bingo hall on Josie Billie Highway.

The next phase of the Ahfachkee School expansion is scheduled to begin construction in March. The building will be similar to the existing two-story building, which opened in 2019. The new building will house the lower school and a gymnasium. Plans for the new building are under review by the Bureau of Indian Education.

A new community center and pool will be built next to the existing Boys & Girls Club. The pool will have an infinity edge on one side and the deck will be sloped for accessibility. At its deepest point, the pool will be seven feet.

Brighton

The Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School immersion program will get its own building, which will begin construction in 2022.

A new complex of three buildings located just west of PECS will include a new culture center, library and Boys & Girls Club. The design phase is underway and construction should begin in early 2022.

A splash pad and sunshades at the community pool are under construction now and should be completed by September.

An agricultural complex, which will include a 4-H building and barns, has been approved and is in the conception phase. The site has not been chosen yet and no date has been scheduled for construction.

Immokalee

Phase one of the recreation center, which includes a pool and playground, will break ground late this year or early in 2022. Phase two, which will contain the recreation center building, parking lot and Boys & Girls Club, is slated to break ground in late 2022 or early 2023.

The designs for the clinic and public safety buildings are complete. Ground clearing is scheduled to begin in October or November with construction to occur around January.

Residential projects

Residential projects underway or in development include The Groves development in Big Cypress, which will have 57 rental homes and a playground. The neighborhood, which will be similar to the rental homes in the Mabel T. Frank development, will break ground early next year.

Brighton’s Knots Landing is taking shape with nine homes completed and nine more to come. Flowing Well, which will have 40 rental homes and 30 homeowner lots, is under construction. The first rental homes should be complete in early 2022. Nine rental homes have been completed on Rainbow Lane, near Knots Landing, and nine home sites will be developed soon.

In Immokalee, eight more homes are scheduled to be built on Alice Jimmie Circle. The Otter Trail development, north of Alice Jimmie Circle, is about to start the design phase for 14 additional homes. Construction could begin in late 2022 or early 2023.

Brighton’s culture center, library and Boys & Girls Club complex. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
The Immokalee recreation center. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School’s immersion program building in Brighton. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
Immokalee’s public safety building. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
The Groves residential development in Big Cypress. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
The Otter Trail residential development in Immokalee. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
The Big Cypress auditorium. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
The site of the Flowing Well residential development. (Courtesy TCD)
The Mabel T. Frank residential development in Big Cypress. (Courtesy TCD)
The Big Cypress Preschool. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
The Big Cypress Senior Center. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
Brighton community pool shades. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
The splash pad in Brighton. (Courtesy TCD)
The Immokalee health clinic. (Rendering courtesy TCD)
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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.
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