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Carrollwood Cultural Center to cost $42,000 extra
By AMBER MOBLEY, Times Staff Writer
Published January 17, 2008
TAMPA - Giving Hillsborough County residents the theatrical experience promised at the Carrollwood Cultural Center is going to cost $42,000 more than expected.
The hitch? Special lighting.
Mark Thornton, director of the county's Parks and Recreation Department, plans to ask the County Commission for the additional funds at its Feb. 6 meeting.
Confusion and disagreement over who should pay for lighting and sound bills birthed a meeting Wednesday between representatives of the county and the center's managing group, the Friends of the Carrollwood Cultural Center.
And if the Friends' board approves, the group will pay an extra $6,700 for light and sound design.
Billed as a beacon for cultural experience in the county, the $7.9-million complex comprises of two renovated churches at S Village Drive and Casey Road in northwest Hillsborough County.
Originally set to debut in 2005, the center is now scheduled to open March 2.
Organizers grappled with both a shortage of building materials and a county hiring freeze that made it impossible to hire a staff. Earlier this month, commissioners voted to give the Friends managerial control of the complex.
The county will continue assisting the center with an annual subsidy that will begin at $380,000 and decrease gradually after the third year.
"There have been a lot of cooks in the kitchen," said Thornton. "But this is still a great program." And the additional funds for lighting, he said, "are within our allowed budget."