Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Indian Shores' new town hall debuts; the police and building departments will reside there, as will a library

The new Indian Shores town hall, at 19305 Gulf Blvd., will have its first official community gathering on Saturday — a holiday party.

Photo by SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA

The new Indian Shores town hall, at 19305 Gulf Blvd., will have its first official community gathering on Saturday — a holiday party.

INDIAN SHORES — Residents will have a chance to tour their new $4.5 million town hall Saturday evening while enjoying a bird's-eye view of their annual holiday boat parade.

The auditorium, where the town party will be held, opens onto a large, covered balcony that stretches the entire length of the building's fourth floor and has an expansive view of the Intracoastal Waterway.

"We will have the best view in town for the boat parade," Mayor Jim Lawrence said.

The event marks the first official community gathering at the new four-story municipal building (three finished floors, with parking beneath) that replaces a now-demolished half-century-old building that Lawrence says would not have survived another hurricane.

The new town hall, at 19305 Gulf Blvd., was built to withstand Category 5 hurricane winds, and includes a locked vault built to even higher standards where city records are kept.

The recently finished 24,000-square-foot structure is three times the size of the old one-story town hall and has three elevators, two for the public and one for the police department. The ground floor provides secure parking for police vehicles.

The second floor houses the building and police departments, including two holding cells. Offices and a 5,000-book public library are on the third floor.

A large auditorium dominates the fourth floor where the town council and community groups hold meetings and events.

Vistas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Intracoastal Waterway can be seen from virtually every office, as well as from balconies on each floor.

The municipal center was designed by Arc 3 Architecture and built by Hennessy Construction, both of St. Petersburg.

The town paid for the new building with a combination of Penny for Pinellas capital funds and a $2.5 million loan, which it expects to pay off with new Penny funds within the next 10 years.

In 2005, this town of about 1,400 permanent residents also spent $6.3 million to bury utility lines along Gulf Boulevard, financed largely by utility and communications taxes. The town expects to be reimbursed for much of that cost by Pinellas County.

In a separate project, the Florida Department of Transportation spent about $20 million in state funds on roadway improvements along Gulf Boulevard, including installation of a bicycle lane.

When asked why the town would spend so much money in the past six years, Lawrence said his residents "love their town" and have "a lot of pride" that is reflected in their willingness to pay for needed improvements.

And even with all that capital spending, Indian Shores still has more than $2 million in reserves and a relatively low property tax rate of 1.85 mills ($185 for every $1,000 of taxable value after exemptions).

Lawrence and his city council held their first council meeting in the new building last month, even as the old town hall was being torn down.

This week workers were still installing landscaping and pavers in the now much larger parking lot. A circular area at the main entrance will feature a flag pole and special brick pavers that residents, businesses for inscriptions at prices that range from $75 to $150.

Funds raised from the brick sale will be used to improve community areas in and around the new municipal center.

Up to 200 people are expected to attend Saturday's holiday party.

The event is open to residents and property owners who will gather from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the fourth-floor auditorium at the new center. Attendees must show a driver's license or a utility bill showing their address.

Indian Shores' new town hall debuts; the police and building departments will reside there, as will a library 12/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 4:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Protectors of Confederate statue readied for a battle that never materialized

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — Big Dixie flags were waving. County employees had erected a barrier around the Confederate soldier statue at Main and Broad streets. Roads and parking areas were blocked off. Uniformed local officers and federal law enforcement patrolled.

    Police tape and barricades surround the Confederate statue in Brooksville.
  2. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  3. FSU-Bama 'almost feels like a national championship game Week 1'

    Blogs

    The buzz is continuing to build for next Saturday's blockbuster showdown between No. 1 Alabama and No. 3 Florida State.

  4. Plan a fall vacation at Disney, Universal, Busch Gardens when crowds are light

    Florida

    Now that the busy summer vacation season is ending, Floridians can come out to play.

    Maria Reyna, 8, of Corpus Cristi, TX. eats chicken at the Lotus Blossom Cafe at the Chinese pavilion at Epcot in Orlando, Fla. on Thursday, August 17, 2017.  Epcot is celebrating it's 35th year as the upcoming Food and Wine Festival kicks off once again.
  5. USF spends $1.5 million to address growing demand for student counseling

    College

    TAMPA — As Florida's universities stare down a mental health epidemic, the University of South Florida has crafted a plan it hopes will reach all students, from the one in crisis to the one who doesn't know he could use some help.

    A student crosses the University of South Florida campus in Tampa, where visits to the school's crisis center more than doubled last year, part of a spike in demand that has affected colleges across the country. The university is addressing the issue this year with $1.5 million for more "wellness coaches," counselors, online programs and staff training. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]