City Commission to consider orchestra improvements


City Commission to consider orchestra improvements


Date: July 30, 2013
by: David Conway | News Editor



The City Commission will hold a special meeting Wednesday morning to discuss facility improvements at the Sarasota Orchestra’s Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center.

According to documents included with the agenda, the scope of the improvements will cost about $460,000. Upgrades include the restoration of restrooms, the installlation of LED lighting and the replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.

Sarasota Orchestra President and CEO Joseph McKenna called the meeting "straightforward." He said the orchestra has deferred a number of maintenance projects due to poor economic conditions over the past five years, and wanted to complete them before its new music director, Anu Tali, takes over.

“We want to finish this maintenance work, welcome a new director and go on providing the great programs we provide for the community,” McKenna said.

City Manager Tom Barwin asked that the city review whether certain procedural requirements in the orchestra’s lease related to facility upgrades could be waived, according to a memo from City Attorney Bob Fournier.

A Florida law requires a payment and performance bond be secured when more than $200,000 in repairs is being made on a public building. The agenda documents state the Sarasota Orchestra would like to divide the work into smaller projects to avoid this requirement.

Such a division is not allowed under city code, and the commission cannot waive that requirement, according to Fournier.

The meeting will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, at the City Commission chambers in City Hall.

Contact David Conway at


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