Library renovation paused until eventually Visualize Clearwater remaining expenses are acknowledged

Past month, the Town Council agreed to shut the Most important Library efficient Sept. 25 so contractors could start a $4 million renovation of the construction. It was to turn out to be the symbolic groundbreaking of Envision Clearwater, the around $64 million prepare to redevelop the downtown waterfront into a park with a live performance venue, backyard garden and a Bluff stroll surrounded by a plaza with housing and retail.

But Thursday, when it arrived time for the council to give contractors the eco-friendly light to get started get the job done, the estimate for the library experienced climbed to $6.4 million with all charges factored in.

“We’ve been hearing for a lot of, quite a few months now that (the contractor) will be ready to provide this in beneath time and underneath spending budget and looking at the quantities go up for the library as the to start with ingredient of this is not a good omen,” reported city council member Mark Bunker. “But I imagine it’s a venture that we ought to continue on to dedicate to, just see what discounts we can uncover.”

Ahead of pursuing the library renovation, the city will now hold out to protected more concrete expense estimates for the entire 22-acre Imagine Clearwater job, a layout that has been little by little transformed by council members in excess of the past few many years.

In June, the council voted to go the included amphitheater from the western edge of the park to the north facet, building it so the greenspace of the 22-acre park would no lengthier be divided by the venue and so the seem will task to the east. But that brought on consultants to have to go back again to the drawing board on style and design documents that have been nearly finish.

They experienced presently been directed to adjust instructions before in April 2019, when the council voted to swap the uncovered live performance bandshell with a 4,000-seat coated amphitheater.

Assistant Town Supervisor Michael Delk claimed he expects consultants to have the layout for the reconfigured park and current price estimate shipped on Nov. 2, which would then go to the council for evaluate.

“It’s not clever, I really do not think, to pull the trigger on the library nevertheless if we really don’t know what our principal centerpiece is likely to charge us, primarily based on not yet possessing a done layout,” Delk claimed.

The election in March also brought three new council users to the dais, just about every with their own views on the conclusions manufactured ahead of them: the conceptual approach accredited in February 2017, the covered amphitheater additional in April 2019 and the $6 million library renovation added in June 2019.

Mayor Frank Hibbard, elected in March, has been skeptical of the library renovation. On Thursday, he questioned “whether it has all that a lot to do with Picture Clearwater.”

“It’s the price of a hearth station,” Hibbard explained of the library renovation. “This is not insignificant and I guess the dilemma that I have is, is it going to maximize features that much additional that it’s essential?”

The most latest money investigation of Picture Clearwater is from July 2019, which displays a price of $64.5 million, which include the park, library renovation, covered amphitheater and completed demolition of the Harborview Heart.

The metropolis has recognized funding to protect $49.7 million, leaving a $14 million hole. Funding so considerably is slated to occur mostly from Penny for Pinellas 1-cent sales tax revenue, city tax revenue and up to $30 million of bond proceeds. The bonds have been validated by a Pinellas County judge final month.

Whilst building will not start this thirty day period on the Major Library, it will keep on being closed to the public except to hold council meetings and voting for the Nov. 3 election. When the Most important Library is closed, the four other Clearwater department libraries will have prolonged hrs.