Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater to put gated fence around entrance to downtown library

Clearwater will add a gated metal fence to the entryway of the Main Library downtown. The fence will be teal-colored and 8 feet tall with a curving arch on top to mirror the library’s wavelike roof.

City of Clearwater

Clearwater will add a gated metal fence to the entryway of the Main Library downtown. The fence will be teal-colored and 8 feet tall with a curving arch on top to mirror the library’s wavelike roof.

CLEARWATER — The Clearwater Main Library is the unquestioned crown jewel of this city's public buildings. It's the newest and best, an attractive four-story structure with majestic water views.

But after eight years, the downtown library's front entrance and the outdoor terrace on the building's west side are starting to show wear and tear. Officials say that's partly because there's a problem with homeless people sleeping around the building at night.

So the City Council voted Thursday night to put a teal-colored, 8-foot metal fence around the front entrance, with a curving arch on top that mirrors the library's wavelike roof. A similar fence will surround the west terrace. The whole thing will cost $119,400.

"It is the main entrance to the signature building for the city of Clearwater, and we want to make it nice and we want to make it appealing," library director Barbara Pickell told the council. "All in all, we feel this would really enhance the library."

The main goal is to spruce up the library's entrance with an attractive courtyard that has decorative fencing, a bit of new landscaping and some kind of public art element, city officials said.

However, there's another purpose as well: A sliding gate will be locked at night, preventing people from sleeping in that courtyard, sheltered from rain beneath the entryway's overhang.

City Manager Bill Horne compares this strategy to the city's practice of locking the gate at closing time at Station Square Park, another gathering spot for the homeless downtown. He said the locking reduces wear and tear on public property.

"It closes at a certain time of night," Horne said. "It's locked up. It stays in a condition that's usable to all the members of the public who might have a reason to go there."

The City Council decided to add the fence to the library's entrance at the suggestion of the Clearwater Library Foundation.

This was actually library supporters' second attempt to get the fence.

In April, council members rejected a proposal for a $72,000 black metal fence around the entrance. They said it looked too spartan and cold, and it didn't match the library's architecture.

Library officials went back to the drawing board and came up with a design that looks more welcoming.

"This is an order of magnitude better than what was presented previously," said City Council member Bill Jonson.

At first, the proposed new design cost $188,300. About $50,000 of that would have paid to replace the concrete slabs outside the library's front door with paver stones similar to the ones used for Cleveland Street's sidewalks downtown.

But on Thursday night, council members said no to the pavers and also removed the words "Clearwater Public Library" from the fence's archway, cutting the project's overall cost to $119,400. The money will come from city reserves.

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4151. To write a letter to the editor, go to tampabay.com/letters.

Clearwater sign code

In other business Thursday, the City Council approved sweeping changes to Clearwater's sign ordinance, giving businesses more flexibility and allowing them to have slightly larger signs.

Clearwater to put gated fence around entrance to downtown library 08/03/12 [Last modified: Friday, August 3, 2012 8:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Target Corp. reaches $18.5 million settlement with 47 states over data breach

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Target Corp. has reached an $18.5 million settlement over a massive data breach that occurred before Christmas in 2013.

    Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have reached an $18.5 million settlement with Target Corp. to resolve the states' probe into the discounter's massive pre-Christmas data breach in 2013. 
[Associated Press]
  2. Adam Putnam: Too much of education bill was done €'behind closed doors'

    Blogs

    Republican candidate for governor Adam Putnam joined the chorus of critics of the Florida Legislature’s massive K-12 education bill that heavily favors charter schools over traditional public schools.

    2018 Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam and Gov. Rick Scott talk on the first day of the Legislature's annual session in March.
  3. John Morgan 'prepared to invest $100M' in medical marijuana

    State Roundup

    John Morgan spent nearly $7 million pushing two statewide ballot initiatives to expand medical marijuana throughout the state of Florida.

    Personal injury lawyer John Morgan says he's ready to invest $100 million in medical marijuana. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Avalos gets life in prison for killing Bradenton neighbor, pastor

    Crime

    BRADENTON — A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor.

    Andres "Andy" Avalos has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor. 

[File photo from Manatee County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Manchester police hunt for accomplices; Islamic State group claims responsibility for blast

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — Investigators hunted Tuesday for possible accomplices of the suicide bomber who attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people and sparking a stampede of young concertgoers, some still wearing the American pop star's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]