Halfacre project manager will oversee construction at school honoring his grandfather

Halfacre Construction Company, a commercial construction company, has been selected to add a structure to Gene Witt Elementary School’s current campus and renovate its existing buildings.

Gene Witt’s family at the Gene Witt Elementary School sign in 2016

Located at 200 Rye Road in Bradenton, there are currently seven existing buildings, totaling about 87,000 square feet, on the school’s campus. The new building, which is still in the design phase, will likely be between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet. It will be used for additional classrooms and match the school’s present architecture with the help of Williamson Dacar Associates, the architect on the project. Scheduled to start next summer, the project is slated to take about 2 years due to phasing.

The total project budget is $20 million and includes site work to clear a 7-acre parcel, incorporating additional asphalt driving lanes for the parent drop-off and pickup queue and adding new playfields.

Gene Witt Elementary School was named after Gene Witt, a teacher, coach, principal and former Manatee County School District superintendent who served the Manatee County school system for more than 35 years. The school opened in his name and honor in 1994.

“This project is extremely special to me because my grandfather loved this school,” said Greg Witt, Gene Witt’s grandson and a project manager for Halfacre Construction Company. “Gene Witt Elementary School is a legacy left by my grandfather, who worked tirelessly to serve the school system and this community. Our team plans to honor that gift, but I know I have very big shoes to fill in order to extend his legacy into my generation.”

Before construction commences, the construction team and subcontractors will build a memorial for Gene Witt this summer through donations raised by Principal David Marshall and the school to fund the project.