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Center upgrade nears completion

A multipurpose room with large restrooms is the first of three planned improvements to the Treasure Island Community Center.


© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 9, 2001

TREASURE ISLAND -- An addition to the Community Center should be finished this week, but the new space won't be ready to use for at least another month.

The large multipurpose room, with two large restrooms that can be used as dressing rooms, is the first of three projects planned at the center at One Park Place.

The city plans to add new ceilings, vinyl tile floors and counters in the kitchen and existing restrooms. The indoor improvements should be done by mid October. At that point, the building will be available for meetings and other functions, according to City Manager Chuck Coward.

In the third phase, the city plans to install a metal roof. The renovated center will be similar in design to the city's other new buildings, including the Treasure Island Beach Center on Sunset Beach, and also painted sage green.

Combined, the three projects are expected to cost about $500,000 -- the same amount the city is spending on its downtown beautification and landscape program, which includes bright new sidewalks and pedestrian walkways that stretch from the Community Center to City Hall.

To continue the community theme, members of the Treasure Island Hotel Motel Association are selling more bricks -- to be placed outside the Community Center.

The bricks are on sale for $50 each and can be personalized with family or company names. A total of 329 of the inscribed bricks are scattered downtown, and the association hopes to sell another 180 for the Community Center landscape.

"I'm calling this the second chance sale," said Sue Whitt of Island Movies and More, 139 107th Ave., where the bricks are on sale. "The more people look at them the more they want them."

Whitt said the proceeds are being donated to the city for the ongoing beautification efforts. Along with the sidewalks and landscaping, the city has installed new benches, trash cans and lighting. A large clock tower -- expected to be dedicated in October -- is going up in the center of downtown.

The new bricks probably will be available for another month or so. Coward said he hopes the Community Center renovations will be finished by December.

But that means the city probably will be unable to put a Christmas tree atop the Community Center for its Nov. 30 tree lighting ceremony.

Instead, city commissioners agreed this month to buy two 18-foot trees, one for the grounds of the Community Center and the other for the inside of the clock tower.

Treasure Island is spending about $11,000 to replace some of its old holiday decorations as well. Instead of installing small lighted trees along the Causeway, the city will wrap clear minilights around every fourth bottlebrush tree.

In the newly landscaped downtown, city crews will place the same lights around the 17 medjoool palm trees lining 107th Avenue.

Some of the old decorations that used to hang on the light poles along the Causeway will be used along Gulf Boulevard.

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