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Towering designs for center lauded

A distinctive tower will mark all city buildings in Treasure Island, including a dramatic entrance for the Community Center.

By KATHY SAUNDERS

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 2, 2000


TREASURE ISLAND -- At the revamped Community Center, a tower 25 feet to 30 feet tall would stand guard at each of the main entrances. One entrance would be a new, grander doorway along 106th Avenue that would include a covered gathering area and connect with the pedestrian walkway that also is envisioned as part of downtown's renaissance.

City commissioners got a first glimpse Wednesday at preliminary designs for the community center project, estimated to cost $500,000.

The 1,680-square-foot addition would include a large multipurpose room, dressing rooms and restrooms that are accessible to the disabled. The renovations also will include a stage for local productions and storage areas for the city's Recreation Department.

The addition will be built on the north side of the existing center at One Park Place, along 106th Avenue. A third door, near the kitchen, will provide access to the backstage area for performers and for deliveries.

Plans include painting the center off-white and adding sage green metal roofs like those on the new Treasure Island Beach Center on Sunset Beach.

Architect Enrique Woodroffe said he wants to link all of the city structures with that combination of colors and signature tower: at the police station, for instance, also scheduled for renovations next year; and on monuments planned for the downtown business district and the three bridges.

Commissioners were pleased with the Community Center designs.

"I think it's beautiful," Butch Ellsworth said.

Mary Maloof said she liked the idea of using the tower icon throughout the city.

"I like the new colors and the roof design," added Barbara Blush.

On Wednesday, commissioners also discussed the hiring of a construction manager to oversee the Community Center renovations, along with several other city projects. They plan to interview prospective contractors July 26.

This fall, Woodroffe is expected to complete the designs on the Community Center and on the police and fire stations. Those renovations, which include improvements to the former chamber of commerce building, are expected to cost $700,000. Commissioners also are planning to spend about $100,000 to redecorate City Hall and install customer counters in some departments.

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