News Briefs

 

News Briefs

 

Date: January 23, 2014
by: Observer Staff

 
 

+ UF and CFAS begin collaboration on building
A collaboration between local architects and University of Florida students Tuesday kicked off the Center for Architecture Sarasota’s first day in its location on Orange Avenue.

UF students, members of CFAS and local architects met to discuss the future of the historic Scott Building.
CFAS and the University of Florida plan to use the building for community and educational purposes. The building will be divided into two spaces. The north side of the building will be transformed into a workspace for The University of Florida’s Masters in Architecture’s new City Lab–Sarasota program; CFAS will use the other space to educate the community on architecture through films, events and lecture series.

“This project will raise the profile and interest of architecture along with the education aspect of it,” says Sarasota architect Damien Blumetti, who works with Guy Peterson.

The University of Florida’s Masters in Architecture’s City Lab-Sarasota is a hands-on architectural program based out of Sarasota.

“The program will facilitate dialogue,” says Director of the School of Architecture Martin Gold. “It is both conceptual and visionary.”

Students will learn the practicalities of building in cities, such as Sarasota, by attending city meetings and talking with the community, as well as practicing design work.

“We’re trying to bring more of the current problems and issues today’s architectures in communities deal with,” says Gold. CFAS hopes to start construction in April. UF students will work closely with architects and CFAS in redesigning the building. City Lab–Sarasota classes will begin in August.

+ Commission OKs first phase of work at lift station
The Sarasota City Commission unanimously approved the first phase of work from the new engineering firm in charge of constructing Lift Station 87, directing the group to begin engineering and designing the project’s completion.

Representatives from McKim and Creed outlined their initial recommendations for finishing the oft-delayed project. Robert Garland, the project manager and vice president with McKim and Creed, said he was confident the group could successfully complete the work at Lift Station 87, located in Luke Wood Park at 1900 Mound St. The targeted completion date is November 2015.

During Tuesday’s meeting, officials estimated the remaining project costs could total somewhere around $9 million, although they said that price was fluid. In total, the work at Lift Station 87 is projected to be roughly $21 million, nearly $9 million more than the original $12.4 million budget. Commissioners were upset by the price total, but were resigned to accept it as a sunk cost.

The previous engineering firm was fired for its inability to microtunnel beneath the Hudson Bayou, but Garland said McKim and Creed has conducted research that will ensure the process is not problematic.

Mayor Shannon Snyder bemoaned the ballooning costs, but said he was glad someone detected the flaws in the earlier plans before the situation got even worse.

+ County plans parking fix for North Shell Road
On Tuesday, Sarasota County staff presented variations of plans to add at least 11 parking spaces to Shell Road on Siesta Key during a meeting at resident Chuck McGovern’s home at the end of Shell Road. McGovern said residents were not ready to endorse any specific plan, but praised the county for working with property owners.

Both plans aim to carve out portions of the right of way for public parking along the road, which is also the first public beach access. One plan calls for 11 news spaces while the other outlines 18 spaces.

Sarasota County Neighborhood Services Manager Jane Grogg said residents still had concerns about the proposed number and location of parking spaces.

Staff anticipates the project to cost $25,000, according to a Jan. 15 email from County Engineer Jim Harriott.

During Tuesday's meeting Commissioners also:
• Approved the purchase of a new records management and dispatch system for the Sarasota Police Department, a cost of about $850,000. Commissioners had rejected the same proposal at an Oct. 21 meeting, but praised the department for returning with a more thorough presentation. A majority of the commission said earlier concerns about SPD’s ability to share data with other local law enforcement agencies had dissipated.

• Discussed the long-term operational funding of a potential regional homeless shelter located in the city of Sarasota, with Vice Mayor Willie Shaw expressing a concern about the city bearing an undue financial burden. Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown said staff would reach out to homeless consultant Robert Marbut to discuss any concerns commissioners had.

• Passed an ordinance that created a permitting process for pain management clinics and instituted other guidelines to better regulate the operation of those establishments.


Meetings & agendas
The Casey Key Association will hold its annual meeting at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 27, at Bentley’s Boutique Hotel, 1660 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey.

The Sarasota County Commission will hold meetings at 9 a.m. Jan. 28 and Jan. 29, at the Sarasota County Administration Center, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota.

 

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