Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Energy efficiency report shocks Largo

LARGO — After receiving a federal grant last year to examine the energy efficiency of its public buildings, the city hired a private firm to inspect its City Hall and Police Department.

The results are in, and the comprehensive report reveals that the structures, which were built in the 1970s, are quite leaky — both in terms of keeping air conditioning bills down, and in some cases, interior spaces separated from the elements.

The engineering firm Long and Associates of Tampa says it could be quite expensive to fix the problems at the municipal complex at 201 Highland Ave.: more than $7.8 million to bring City Hall up to current standards, compared with about $11.8 million to build a new City Hall.

The police headquarters would cost about $2 million to bring up to current building code.

The engineering firm reported of both structures: "Significant work is needed to bring this building into conformance with current Florida Building Code requirements for wind load resistance and minimum energy efficiency standards."

The report also noted that some walls of both buildings offered "almost no thermal insulation" and that "water intrusion due to roof leaks is an ongoing problem" at the Police Department.

While the report paints a rather bleak picture of both structures, especially City Hall's condition, officials have few complaints about the building's ability to serve its purpose as office space for the city staff and meeting rooms for commissioners.

Mayor Patricia Gerard said she told City Manager Norton "Mac" Craig she wanted to take a closer look at the report.

"We decided to take a look at that to see what inexpensive things we could do," she said.

Gerard said she hoped the report would outline simple, low-cost ways for the city to conserve on utility bills. The costly and broad recommendations by the report came as a surprise.

She said that when she speaks to the city staff about the report in more detail, she would see if some parts of the recommendations would be more cost-effective than others — and that at present, the city has no plans to necessarily follow any of the suggestions.

"I think we could pick and choose what's really important," she said. "I'd like our staff to give us some more recommendations."

The city bought the Highland Avenue property, formerly the Aegon office complex, for $4.6 million in August 1996 and completed $7.9 million in renovations to the building in 2000.

Dominick Tao can be reached at or (727) 580-2951.

Energy efficiency report shocks Largo 11/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 5:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Why are so few Tampa Bay houses for sale? They're being rented

    Real Estate

    Oreste Mesa Jr. owns a modest 40-year-old house in West Tampa just off MacDill Avenue. It's an area where many homeowners are hearing the siren song of builders and cashing out while the market is strong.

    Attorney David Eaton poses in front of his rental home at 899 72nd Ave. North. in St. Petersburg. He's among a growing number of property owners who see more value in renting out unused homes than selling them. 
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. In a word, Hernando school leaders say, first day was 'smooth'


    Over and over on Monday, school district leaders used the same word to describe the unfolding of the first day of school in Hernando County.


    Third-graders Teagan Ferguson, left, and Brianna DeLaine deliver attendance figures to the office at J.D. Floyd Elementary School on Monday. Superintendent Lori Romano and other district administrators toured a handful of schools and classrooms throughout the day,
  3. Looking Back: Diana, America's Favorite Princess


    The Washington Post, in her obituary, called her "the most photographed woman in the world." She was loved in England for saying, after her divorce from Prince Charles, "I'd like to be a queen of people's hearts." Americans loved her for her work with charitable causes supporting victims of AIDS and landmines. Aug. 31 …

    Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day.

(AP Photo)
  4. Rays morning after: 5 mistakes that led to loss to Blue Jays


    We've already documented elsewhere what the Rays didn't do, how they failed to take advantage of a prime opportunity to win Wednesday's game, getting just one run after loading the bases in the seventh with one out and three of …

    Jake Faria make too many mistakes, the failure to execute costing him repeatedly.
  5. Unborn baby dies, two critically injured in Largo crash


    LARGO — Two people were critically injured and an unborn baby was killed in a crash that shut down an intersection on Ulmerton Road late Wednesday night, the Florida Highway Patrol said.