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Rec center expansion moving forward again

By AMY WIMMER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 2, 2002

MADEIRA BEACH -- The city hopes to complete the expansion of its new recreation center by August, in time for the new school year.

The new building will include new pingpong tables and pool tables and will feature more space for the city's after-school program, said Mike Maxemow, community services director.

The project was delayed after the original contractor, Bill Johnson, died several months ago. The new contractor is Rodan Construction Inc.

The 1,500-square-foot expansion will cost $126,000.

The city also is building a picnic shelter and new playground at the recreation center. Both are funded through a state grant from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program.


Permits for skateboarders and in-line skaters who wish to use the city's new skate facility will be issued from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Indian Rocks Beach Civic Auditorium.

The permits will cost $2.50 for residents and $5 for non-residents and will be valid until Dec. 30.

To be eligible for a permit, prospective users must bring two 2-inch by 2-inch photos and proof of residency in Indian Rocks Beach. A parent or guardian must accompany any permit applicant under age 17.

For information, call City Hall at 595-2517.

The Indian Rocks Beach Civic Association awarded $12,000 in scholarships to 13 students.

The students are Stephen Tessitore, who attends St. Petersburg College; Jessica Helkin, Florida State University; Joshua West, St. Petersburg College; Christine Blakeslee, University of South Florida; William Belstrom, who graduated from Largo High School this spring and will attend the University of Central Florida; Jennifer Nolan, who graduated from Largo High School this spring and will attend Hillsborough Community College; Courtney Burdick, Florida International University; Angela Fornaro, Saint Leo University; Tracy Faraone, University of South Florida; Andrea Neilson, Florida State University; Nicole Matuska, Northwestern University; Elizabeth Bryant, who graduated from Largo High School this spring and will attend Florida State University; and Megan McKenna, who graduated from Largo High School this spring and will attend the University of Central Florida.

Indian Rocks Beach is planning a Flag Day ceremony at noon June 14 that will include an opportunity for people to properly dispose of American flags.

The ceremony originally was planned for Memorial Day but was moved because veterans organizations already have Memorial Day plans.

At the brief ceremony, the city will turn in old and tattered flags to VFW Post 10094, which later will incinerate the flags at the VA Medical Center at Bay Pines.

Because so many people have been flying flags since Sept. 11, Mayor Bob DiNicola said, many flags are tattered and need to be replaced.

Anyone who has an old flag can bring it to City Hall from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays until June 13. Non-residents are invited to drop off flags and participate, City Manager Tom Brobeil said.

Applications are available for the Beach Art Center's summer Creative Arts Camp. The camp will run from June 10 to July 26, except for the week of July 4.

Children ages 8-12 will explore American art history through activities such as drawing, painting, 3-D art, fiber art, sculpture and more.

The program runs from 9 a.m. to noon weekdays. The fee is $70 per week, including all materials and a snack. Children may attend one week or more.

In addition to the Creative Arts Camp, children's pottery classes will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. Students will learn various hand-building techniques with clay. The fee is $24 per week, plus a $7 materials fee to cover clay, glazes and firing.

Call 596-4331 for applications, registration and information. Enrollment is limited. The Beach Art Center is at 1515 Bay Palm Blvd., next to City Hall, in Indian Rocks Beach.

The Beach Art Center also will offer several adult art classes beginning Monday.

Classes are available in figure drawing, beginning watercolor, acrylics on canvas and Raku pottery, an ancient Japanese method of adorning pottery.

Other ongoing classes will continue for the summer, including watercolor, oil miniatures, Sumi-e and acrylic and bottle painting.

For information or to register for classes, call the Beach Art Center at 596-4331.


The town's Hurricane Awareness Meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Redington Shores Town Hall, 17425 Gulf Blvd.


The Gulfport Waterfront District offers live music and refreshments on the first Friday and third Saturday of each month at the Gulfport Artwalk. This month the walks will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and June 15.

Free parking is available, as well as a free trolley service that takes visitors on a tour of historic Gulfport.

For information, contact Tracey Jackson at 328-9790 or The Gulfport Waterfront District is on Beach Boulevard.


The featured artists for June at the Suntan Art Center are George Avery, a painter, and Dani Bergman, a clay artist.

The Suntan Art Center will host a reception honoring the artists from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The center is at 3300 Gulf Blvd., directly south of the Don CeSar.

The Suntan Art Center is offering summer classes for children. The classes are two hours each and are offered in four-week sessions.

Children can choose between drawing, pottery, sculpture, watercolor painting, acrylic painting, pastels or crafts.

The children's drama program is also being offered again this year.

For information, call 367-3818.

-- Compiled by staff writer Amy Wimmer. To submit items to the beaches notebook, e-mail

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