Saturday, May 26, 2018
News Roundup

Grand opening to unveil renovations at Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center

SAFETY HARBOR — The mayor walked up to the museum, its outside a fresh hue of bright blue. He stepped through the door onto the shiny new floors of polished, stained concrete.

Gone was every suggestion of its former state: the faded yellow paint, the outdated carpet and the stale smell.

"I was," Mayor Andy Steingold said, "completely impressed with the renovation."

After months of construction, the overhaul of the Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History will be publicly unveiled at its grand opening Friday. The new Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center will also host a slew of arts and cultural classes beginning in January — a new initiative.

Some locals got an early peek at the changes at the recent annual Toys, Joys and Wreaths fundraiser to benefit the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center.

"The few people that have seen it cannot believe it's the same space," said Bobbie Wheeler, co-president of the museum board.

With its new look and purpose, the reimagined museum will likely attract folks who never frequented the Bayshore Boulevard building before, she said.

Last year, the city entered a public-private partnership with the nonprofit museum board after the museum had struggled for years. The board maintains historical exhibits and continues to offer its summer camps, but the city will relocate some staff members into the museum and run additional classes, workshops and events.

The museum closed in March for extensive interior and exterior renovations. The city budgeted $150,000 for the work, later increasing the amount to $170,000. Some of the additional costs came from redoing the floors and moving a utility line.

The work transformed the museum. Interior walls came down, opening up one big room as multiuse space. Overgrown plants were cleared from the lot and an outdoor porch was built.

"Everything from top to bottom was pretty much redone," said Shannon Schafer, city recreation superintendent and public art liaison.

The renovation makes way for 15 classes to teach acting, writing and art in many different media. Workshops will teach people how to use social media, publish novels and meditate.

That helps fulfill Schafer's one wish for the place: that it is well used by residents.

"I want the community to just come interested, enjoy it and be educated on how their city was formed," she said.

Without needing additional staff members, the city-run classes are expected to alleviate the expense of running the museum and cultural center.

When the museum was privately operated, the city allocated about $15,000 in annual funding for it. Now, budget projections call for $51,500 for the museum's operations. But the museum could in turn generate $53,000 in revenue. Those costs and gains are directly tied to each other, City Manager Matt Spoor said. If the museum holds fewer classes, both revenues and expenses would decline.

So, instead of pulling $15,000 from the city each year, the museum could bring in $2,500.

As for the historical exhibits, the new space offers more display flexibility. The permanent exhibits focus on bay area history as well as Safety Harbor-specific history.

"They'll have a whole new look and feel to them," said Wheeler, of the museum board. "It's just like rearranging your living room. It's amazing what you can do with that."

Stephanie Wang can be reached at (727) 445-4155 or [email protected]

 
Comments
Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

THE BASEBALL LABORATORY IN ST. PETERSBURG — Up is down. Down is up. Hello is goodbye. Goodbye is hello. A reliever is a starter. A starter is a reliever.These are your 2018 Tampa Bay Rays.You never know what's going to happen. And just when you...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who was trying to resurrect his career with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said Saturday that he is retiring from football.Freeman, 30, was a first-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2009 and was their starting ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

RIVERVIEW — A Riverview woman shot and killed her husband Saturday because he punched her father and wouldn’t say sorry, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said. Sabrina Michelle Hendley, 40, faces a first-degree murder charge in th...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE — A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Police investigating shooting outside nightclub

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred outside a south St. Petersburg nightclub early Saturday morning.Brennan-Aire D. Williams, 28, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving by cab at Bayfront Health. Police invest...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Woman dies in Plant City after SUV flips off road

PLANT CITY — A Seffner woman died Saturday from injuries sustained when her sports utility vehicle flipped off the road and crashed into a fence near the intersection of Tanner Road and State Road 574.Amanda K. Cepeda-Duque, 21, was traveling west on...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Updated: 8 hours ago