Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco schools, college and county win state money for new performing arts center

Sandwiched among millions of dollars worth of special projects in the state budget appeared a $10 million line item for a performing arts education center and convention facility in Wesley Chapel.

The item is connected to Pasco-Hernando State College. But a document describing the project, which carries a total price tag of $60 million, indicates that the Pasco school district and county government also will participate.

The concept is to expand educational performing arts opportunities in the county, while also drawing more regional tourism, conventions and performances to Pasco. County commissioners also would use the space to hold government meetings. High school graduations also are a possibility as they are usually held at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa.

The college plans to use the center to expand its performing arts offerings and develop new programs, said spokeswoman Lucy Miller. Performances are now held at the college's performing arts center on its west campus in New Port Richey.

County officials had voiced interest in having a setting for big events in the county. They worked with key lawmakers, including House Speaker Will Weatherford, whose district includes the project. The item still must survive the governor's veto pen. After that, the governments would need to work out many details to make it all come together.

"It's a good project for our community," Weatherford said. "It's a … project that will take a couple of years of funding, but the idea would be that over time it would be a performing arts program, and it would also have a performing arts center adjacent to the campus."

Assistant schools superintendent Ray Gadd estimated the project is three to five years from opening. No physical plans have been made yet and a specific site has not been chosen.

"We haven't had so much as someone doodle out what it might look like," he said. "We're just optimistic that it will get approved."

All three entities would jointly own the facility. Funding would come from state and local construction funds, such as the Public Education Capital Outlay trust fund and property taxes. The agencies might also seek private contributions.

County Commissioner Ted Schrader said Pasco hasn't decided how to fund the center, whether to use tourism development taxes, Penny for Pasco or a combination of the two funds.

The county may not be able to access Penny for Pasco money. Voters two years ago approved using a portion of the sales tax for economic development projects starting in 2015. But whether a convention facility qualifies as that is debatable and could require a legal opinion, Schrader said.

Times staff writer Rich Shopes contributed to this report.

Pasco schools, college and county win state money for new performing arts center 05/02/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 2, 2014 10:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Strategic Property Partners launches website for Water Street Tampa

    Business

    Strategic Property Partners has launched its official website for Water Street Tampa, its 53-acre redevelopment project in downtown Tampa Tuesday.

    Strategic Property Partners on Tuesday announced the name of its new development: Water Street Tampa. [Photos courtesy of SPP]
  2. Is Mikhail Sergachev, who debuts with Lightning at Wednesday camp, ready for the NHL?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was taken ninth overall by the Canadiens in the 2016 NHL draft, a horde of Montreal media surrounded him for his first news conference.

    Mikhail Sergachev takes a shot during warmups prior to a game between the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes in October in Montreal. [Getty Images]
  3. ReliaQuest CEO Brian Murphy named sole Tampa Bay winner in EY state entrepreneur contest

    Business

    ReliaQuest founder and CEO Brian Murphy was named one of nine winners statewide and the only one from the Tampa Bay area in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Florida Awards program. Murphy won in the IT security division after starting ReliaQuest in 2007. Five of the nine winners were from the Miami …

    Tampa's ReliaQuest founder and CEO Brian Murphy was named one of nine winners statewide and the only one from the Tampa Bay area in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Florida Awards program. Murphy won in the IT security division after starting ReliaQuest in 2007.
  4. Top pick Brendan McKay signing with Rays for $7M bonus

    Blogs

    The Rays are set to sign top pick 1B/LHP Brendan McKay for a bonus just over $7-million, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

    McKay was the No. 4 overall pick in the June 12 draft as he starred as a two-way player leading Louisville to the College World Series.

    The deal is expected to be finalized …

    Brendan McKay was the No. 4 overall pick in the June 12 draft as he starred as a two-way player leading Louisville to the College World Series.
  5. Man found dead in Dunedin canal identified as missing 63-year-old

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies on Tuesday identified the man found floating in a Dunedin canal as the man who was reported missing last week.

    Charles P. Morris, 63, was found dead in a canal in Dunedin behind Cedar Creek Mobile Home Park, at 605 Michigan Blvd. around 3:48 p.m. Monday. He was reported missing June 21 after he was last seen leaving his home the night before to walk his dog. [ Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]