OLD SEMINOLE HEIGHTS
The Seminole Heights Branch Library is small.
How small is it? So small that in 2006, a fire marshal capped the amount of people inside at 49 and had an off-duty police officer play bouncer and admit people only after someone left.
So when library director Joe Stines told the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association during a July 22 meeting that they have been approved for a new facility, president Susan Long said the neighborhood was "just tickled pink."
"We need it desperately," she said. "The current library just doesn't serve the needs of the community anymore."
The library board has approved $7.3-million to replace the 43-year-old library at 4711 N Central Ave. Stines said the County Commission has to sign off on the budget allocation in September, but he doesn't expect there to be any objection.
"This is our oldest library left," he said. "It hasn't been touched or renovated since 1991, when I started as the director."
The plan includes a two-story building with 10,000-square-foot floors and entrances through a parking deck that will be shared with Memorial Middle School, Stines said. There has been no official approval, but he said School Board members said they "see no problems" with using their property.
The old 6,000-square-foot library is notorious for its lack of space, especially after school gets out. Long said she has been turned away many times because the library was full.
"Between 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. the place is crawling with kids," she said.
Stines said the building also lacks a proper meeting room and computer lab. With Seminole Heights at its peak, he said this is a great time to bring them up to date.
A construction time has not been set, and a name will be discussed when the building is erected, Stines said.
The Historic Ybor Neighborhood Association passes on this little reminder to residents:
"The Solid Waste Department unexpectedly moved the recycling pickup day in Ybor City from Tuesday to Thursday."
For more information, call the city's recycling division at 348-1165.
Tampa Heights is teaming up with the City of Tampa Clean Sweep program to tidy up the neighborhood. The city is allowing residents to dispose of large trash items and other unwanted bulk junk to help beautify the area. They will also be cleaning up the neighborhood and alleyways.
The group will meet at 7:30 a.m. Saturday in Plymouth Park at W Adalee Street. Trash bags will be provided, but people should bring their own gloves. A picnic will be 10:30 a.m. to noon after the cleanup, with kayaks and canoes for river rides.
All large items must be placed at the curb no later than 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Visit www.tampaheights.org for more information, and a list of the items that will be accepted.
If you know of news in your community, contact Eric Smithers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3339.