Donations needed to bridge funding gap for new Riverview center

RIVERVIEW — Convincing county commissioners to cough up $2.5-million for the Brandon Community Advantage Center earlier this month might have been the easy part.

Now, it's up to supporters of the multipurpose facility planned for Winthrop Town Center in Riverview to come up with some more cash.

The math for the building goes something like this: With the county money and another $4.3-million in state and federal funds in hand, a total of $6.8-million, it will take an infusion of donations or private funds to make up the difference on a building estimated earlier this year to cost up to $8.2-million.

The first phase of construction could start as early as October.

The level of interior amenities might depend on how much can be raised privately.

"The real cost will be whatever we can gather for the building," said Earl Lennard, the former county school superintendent who heads the nonprofit group of local leaders overseeing the project. "With what we have, a realistic size would be 12,000 to 20,000 square feet."

In addition to being a civic gathering spot, the center will be a designated hurricane shelter built to Federal Emergency Management Agency specifications.

It will have a meeting and banquet facility that will also be able to handle business expos, weddings and other events.

Other possible uses include educational facilities for Hillsborough Community College and areas for art classes that would augment the 25-year-old Center Place arts center next to the Brandon library.

"Brandon has outgrown that location," said Miller Dowdy, the Advantage Center's board president. "It needs state-of-the-art cultural programming."

Donations needed to bridge funding gap for new Riverview center 08/28/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 2:18pm]

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