LARGO -- The Largo City Commission went on the road again Tuesday night, mere blocks from city hall as it held a work session at the Community Center on 4th Street in order to hear from the citizenry.
After hearing from the public, the commission got down to its agenda which included items centering on the use of Central Park facilities and reuse of the present library, which will be replaced in June, 2005, by the new library.
Joan Byrne, the recreation and parks director, presented a new use for the area where the Renaissance Festival used to be held.
This area lies more or less east of where the new library is going up and would provide an area that can accommodate 7,000 to 10,000 people who would be the audience for concerts and stage productions.
As Byrne described it, the new library would provide a backdrop for theatrical productions and other entertainment with the performance being projected into the east where the audience would be.
While the Cultural Center in the main part of Central Park has been the venue for many entertainment features, it has a seating capacity of only 333.
What is envisioned, Byrne said, is to bring national headliner acts to Largo. Some of this has already occurred with great success.
One event coming up that Byrne focused on is a three-day music festival slated April 22-24 next year.
One of the purposes of that program is to establish Largo as a "destination" for arts, entertainment and culture.
Destination is the key word in Largo these days as city leaders try to overcome the city's traditional "pass through" role and as a place on the way to someplace else.
Already, nationally known acts are being talked of as featured performers at the April festival.
One aspect that Byrne emphasized is that the site of this entertainment center cannot be known as "the place where the Renaissance Festival used to be held."
She proposed calling the site "Festival Park." She cited the city's centennial celebration next year as tying in to that idea as well as envisioning the music festival as becoming an annual event.
In another presentation, Byrne outlined a plan for a system of renting Central Park for events, defining by whom and how the park is used, ranging from a private, small event, to city co-sponsored happenings.
Henry Schubert, an assistant city manager who has been the honcho on the new library, discussed with the commission at Tuesday's meeting plans for the future of the present library.
A proposed idea to use the library in the future as an "intergenerational" center which one commission member tried to ram through was sidetracked in April by other commission members who wanted a "go-slow, let's take a look" approach to deciding the future use of the building.
To that end, Schubert proposed the issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) to engage a consultant who would confer with commission members and city staff in defining the use of the building.
Again, "destination" is the key word in thinking of the future use of that building, although "destination" use is still amorphous and no where near being clearly defined.
There already is $30,000 in the current budget to pay for such a study.
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