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Treasure Island chooses manager to oversee projects

The local contractor will overhaul the police and fire stations, the Community Center and the former Chamber of Commerce building.

By KATHY SAUNDERS

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 30, 2000


TREASURE ISLAND -- City commissioners selected a local contractor to serve as the construction manager for four major renovation projects.

Commissioners plan to ask their city manager to negotiate with Peter R. Brown Construction Inc. for the job. Brown and his executive vice president, Eduardo "Tito" Vargas, live in Treasure Island.

On Wednesday, commissioners interviewed Brown along with representatives of Eveland Brothers Inc. and Creative Contractors Inc. of Clearwater.

"Peter Brown had taken the time and effort to look specifically at our projects," said City Manager Chuck Coward, who said Brown's company has been in business for 35 years and has specialized in construction management for the past 17 years.

Brown outlined his suggestions for completing the projects in several stages and where to move city employees and operations during the construction.

"They were aware of our issues and had specific recommendations on how to deal with our operations," Coward said.

On the manager's recommendation, commissioners decided to hire a contractor to oversee the renovations of the police and fire stations, the Community Center and the former Chamber of Commerce building. All but the Community Center are on 108th Avenue near City Hall. The Community Center is at One Park Place, behind downtown.

Commissioners have set aside about $1.2-million for the four projects.

As construction manager, Brown would be responsible for completing the projects. In turn, the city would pay him an additional design fee based on the final cost of the renovations.

Architect Enrique Woodroffe of Tampa is completing the designs for the renovations and expects to have the plans ready in September.

Brown estimated that the renovations would take about nine months to complete. He proposed starting with the addition to the Community Center, adding a second entrance and building two towers at those points. Renovations to the interior of the center would follow.

Next, Brown would begin to remodel the police department and fire station complex, beginning with the police administration area on the north end of the building. He suggested moving the administration operations to the adjacent Chamber of Commerce building during those renovations. Commissioners have agreed to add more employee-friendly areas to the police department, including private restrooms for officers who now share those with prisoners, more lockers and a break room.

The chamber building would be the last project. That building is expected to be remodeled and converted into more office space for City Hall employees.

Coward said construction should begin in February or March.

"We could be done by the 2001 holiday season," said Coward.

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