STOCK ISLAND, FL – During the lunch break of the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners monthly meeting Wednesday, the Commission hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Stock Island to celebrate the $7.9 million renovation of Bernstein Park.
At the meeting, the Commission also approved an interlocal agreement between Monroe County and the City of Key West for the scheduling of Bernstein Park’s athletic fields and field maintenance consulting.
The park’s renovation project included a new 5,500 square-foot community center, children’s playground, basketball court, walking path, athletic fields and new field lighting. The project also included elevating six acres of the park (the non-wetlands portion) by up to two feet to address flooding caused by rains and high tides that have hampered use of the fields.
The field now has new natural grass that is being watered using rain water collected in cisterns and reclaimed water from Key West Resort Utilities.
The park closed on Sept. 1, 2016 for the renovation. A year later, the park almost was ready to reopen when Hurricane Irma struck on Sept. 10, 2017, causing significant damage. The park partially reopened in July and now is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The renovation project was funded with the one-cent infrastructure sales surtax.
Photo of ribbon cutting (L-R): C. Dent Pierce (former County Public Works director), Roman Gastesi (County Administrator, Monroe County Mayor David Rice, Monroe County Mayor Pro Tem Sylvia Murphy, Monroe County Commissioner Danny Kolhage, Monroe County Commissioner George Neugent, Margie Smith (County Parks and Recreation Board) Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers, Steve Miller (chair of County Parks and Recreation Board), Bill Horn (architect on the program).