BELLEAIR BEACH -- The Belleair Beach City Council got another review of the new planned city hall Monday night and the public got its first look at Reid Silverboard, the new city manager, who is serving as administrator until he takes office officially next Wednesday.
In Monday night's review, some more or less hard figures as to size and cost emerged.
As a footnote to it all, the pleasure evinced by Councilmember Bert Cutler, who has been the driving force behind the city hall project, was obvious.
Planning for the new building, which has had several incarnations on the drawing board, goes back seven or more years.
After some introductory remarks by Dick Williams, a member of the ad hod Building Steering Committee, Ward Friszolowski of Harvard Jolley Clees, the architectural firm that has been working with Belleair Beach on the project for several years, gave a presentation on where the planning stands.
The total cost of the new city hall, including construction, architectural costs and fees, furnishings and equipment comes to $1,850,000.
What began as a building planned as more than 16,500 square feet has been cut down to 9,500 square feet. The construction cost is put at $160 a square foot ($1,520,000), furnishings are estimated at $140,000 and the fees to Harvard Jolley Clees are currently put at $190,000.
Provided that a contract is agreed on between the city and the architect in March, the timeline calls for the initial site design in April and May, design development (when details are nailed down) in June and July, documentation by October, with construction beginning in November.
Much of 2006 would be taken up with construction. The new building would be located where the city's tennis courts now are located. The present city hall would be continued to be used and then demolished after the new building is completed.
Tennis courts will be relocated but because a state grant is paying for that new facility it will be completely open to all members of the public in the area.
A parking lot will be eventually located where the present city hall now stands.
Friszolowski presented four floor plans as examples of how the new city hall could be set up. These plans are subject to change.
He also gave some illustrations of design styles including a Mediterranean look, contemporary, historical, Florida traditional.
Although Silverboard as city manager and the ad hoc committee will continue to work with the architects, the council was assured that it will be kept informed of all details and costs every step of the way.
Financing for the new building will come from the $500,000 already accumulated in a building fund and a loan for the balance. It is uncertain at this point who the lender will be but it could be from the Florida League of Cities or another source.
Williams stressed that there will be no tax increase to fund the new city hall. He said that any new loan payment would be the same or less than the current loan payment (that is paying off the long ago marina debt).
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