September 28, 2023

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New county administrative center emphasizes health and fitness, exercise

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On Jan. 31, the Sarasota County Commission accepted $28 million in funds improvement income bonds to finance development of a new county administration middle. On Wednesday, commissioners received their first search at what the new $75 million creating will glimpse like.

Even now in the design and style stage, Director of Funds Enhancement Tasks Carolyn Eastwood showed commissioners exterior renderings of the building that will substitute the existing county headquarters at 1660 Ringling Blvd. The new creating will be on county-owned land in Fruitville Farms.

With an emphasis on well being and health and fitness — the setting up will be upcoming to Celery Fields, which offers enough physical exercise possibilities — amid the architectural functions is a glass-enclosed “communicating staircase” protruding from the entrance of the constructing. It is intended to stimulate team to climb the stairs rather than experience an elevator, in stark distinction to the recent administrative centre.

“In this building right now we have staircases, but they’re enclosed,” Eastwood explained. “There are genuinely no windows. Personnel don’t interact. People who use the elevator never ever see individuals utilizing the stairs, so which is why we contact it the communicating staircase. The notion is to try to have team have far more conversation when they use the stairs and also boost employees to use the stairs. It is really a brighter surroundings, and it is really far more inviting.”

The community will have obtain to the ground floor the place the 3,500-square-foot assembly chamber will be positioned on the north conclusion of the crescent-shaped creating. A 2,400-square-foot  “think tank,” at present on the third floor, will also be on the first floor, letting less complicated and additional protected general public entry. The floor will also have meeting rooms, a canteen for employees with views of Celery Fields, and a 4,000-square-foot health club.

The south facet of the new Sarasota County Administration Center will offer views of Celery Fields, a county park, throughout the sidewalk from the creating.

Courtesy rendering

“I know we are in the beginning levels below, but what I really would like to know, in serving the public in spaces they’re heading to use, is how many seats are in the chamber? How several stalls in the bogs? How does that compare to what we previously have?” said Commissioner Nancy Detert. “A person of the first matters I at any time noticed about coming to this creating is that the bathrooms are so properly positioned. They seem really open up to the public and huge and they’re just right there and easy to obtain. You really don’t have to go down a hallway. Figures are likely to be essential to me.”

Whilst those numbers have nonetheless to be established, the floor plan displays restrooms positioned between the meeting chamber and the feel tank, and a different set of restrooms near the reverse close of the creating. 

The county marketed its 170,000-square-foot administration center in downtown to Benderson Progress Inc. in December 2021, along with two adjoining qualities utilised for parking, for $25 million. In April 2022, it executed a land swap with Benderson, trading county-owned land at Nathan Benderson Park for the new internet site on Apex Street. 

Developed in 1973, county team believed the current setting up would will need $49 million in repairs about the future 20 several years, and relocating the administration centre to an unincorporated area along the interstate would make it improved obtainable to far more county residents, specially as the populace centre moves to the southern portion of the county.

The design for the new setting up is thanks to be submitted on March 17. From there, the countdown commences to vacating the current space by the time the lease expires on Dec. 31, 2025.

“After that is the design advancement period for the construction drawings afterwards in the spring,” Eastwood reported. “We hope to bring back again an initial confirmed maximum price tag deal for approval, and that would permit us to get started off early on a web-site work offer as very well as probably some acquire of extensive guide products. In the slide, we anticipate completing our design and style and permitting and then starting up full building.”

That leaves two many years to full the making. 

“And then we have a pair of months in get to move every person out of right here and get them into the new facility.”


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