LAKEWOOD RANCH — On a vacant patch of land between the Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch and a Peace River Electric Co. office on 59th Avenue East, Lakewood Ranch government officials gathered Monday, March 25, with shovels in hand.
There, members of the Inter-District Authority Board, surrounded by fellow Lakewood Ranch community development district supervisors, Town Hall employees and other officials, formally broke ground on a new maintenance facility for the Lakewood Ranch community.
Once completed, the $2.46 million 6,675-square-foot facility will house the IDA’s operation’s department, which oversees irrigation, landscaping, pond and preserve maintenance, parks and other issues on behalf of Lakewood Ranch’s CDDs.
“The new operations facility will bring us to a whole new level,” Operations Director Ryan Heise said. “In the end, it’s not about our needs but the needs of residents. I believe the facility will help us not only meet those needs, but to exceed them.
“We’re really excited (about it),” he said. “It’s finally a place to call our own.”
The operations department currently works out of trailers on land immediately north of The Pinnacle Academy, on Lorraine Road. A lease on the property expires in fall 2013, requiring the department to move. Facilities also are in poor condition and in need of repair.
IDA Chairman Tom Green said the project was born out of necessity and is significant to all Lakewood Ranch residents.
“It’s the first substantial investment we’re making in the community since (the construction) of Town Hall,” Green said. “This was all done with the best interest of the Lakewood Ranch community at large (in mind). That’s significant to me.”
Moving forward with construction of the facility, he said, required each of Lakewood Ranch’s five resident-controlled community development districts to work together for financing and other components of the project.
Magnum Builders of Sarasota will complete the work.
The operations department is expected to move in to the new building in mid-December.
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].