Advertisement
  1. News

Clearwater demands more details about dedication of Scientology building

The Church of Scientology’s long-dormant Flag Building is to be dedicated Oct. 6. In early November, an international Scientology convention normally held annually in England will be held in Clearwater, with 8,000 people expected to celebrate in a huge tent being shipped here from England.
The Church of Scientology’s long-dormant Flag Building is to be dedicated Oct. 6. In early November, an international Scientology convention normally held annually in England will be held in Clearwater, with 8,000 people expected to celebrate in a huge tent being shipped here from England.
Published Sep. 17, 2013

CLEARWATER — City officials have given the Church of Scientology two deadlines to provide more details about the Oct. 6 dedication and grand opening of the church's massive Flag Building.

If the church doesn't comply this week, the city might not approve Scientology's request for street and sidewalk closures downtown for an event that the church says will draw up to 10,000 guests.

In an email Friday, Christopher Hubbard, chairman of the city's special events committee, informed church officials that an "incomplete" traffic plan submitted earlier this month must be updated by Wednesday.

The church must also submit a certificate of liability insurance and an updated venue site plan by Friday, he wrote.

"Failure to meet either deadline will result in the forfeiture of City approval" for the dedication, Hubbard wrote.

Church officials didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The long-delayed opening of what has been called the church's "Super Power" building promises to be a high-profile affair. The building will reportedly house the church's highly classified "Super Power" program, first advanced by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in the 1970s.

The edifice, which occupies an entire city block, has been under construction since 1998. Construction delays eventually drew daily fines. In 2011, the church paid $413,500 to the city.

The Tampa Bay Times has estimated the church has raised $145 million for the seven-story structure.

The church requested street and sidewalk closures for an hourlong ceremony and related events in an application submitted in August.

City Manager Bill Horne said Monday that if the church doesn't meet the deadlines this week, it doesn't automatically mean it won't be able to hold the event as planned.

"I'll have to determine what the 'miss' is. It could be an administrative issue and I'll take it into account," Horne said. "It is a drop-dead date, but there may be an exception that may have to be made. I don't know that until I get more facts. But we don't expect people to miss those dates."

Horne said he had called church officials and was waiting for a response.

Charlie Frago can be reached at cfrago@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4159. You can follow him on Twitter @CharlieFrago

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. More than 1,300 summer and fall graduates were eligible to participate in the morning or afternoon commencement ceremonies Dec. 11 at the Pasco-Hernando State College New Port Richey campus. Approximately 345 degrees and certificates were conferred. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]
    Two ceremonies were held at the New Port Richey campus.
  2. Rocky, Sally Mae, Marsali and Paisley are available for adoption at area shelters. [Times]
    Shelter pet offerings throughout Tampa Bay
  3. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [Times]
    “With guns you always want to assume they’re loaded,” said a Hillsborough sheriff’s captain.
  4. At Adventures in Music, administrator Rich Holley talks of the studio's performance based lessons that train students, young and old, to make music together. [BETH N. GRAY  |  Special to the Times]
    New studio offers private lessons and group sessions.
  5. Retired Lakeland deputy chief Clarence Grier has been missing since Wednesday afternoon. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
    Retired deputy chief Clarence Grier had been missing since Wednesday afternoon.
  6. Mark Edward Allen, 60, was sentenced in federal court on Friday to 5 years in prison and three years of supervised release. Allen was arrested in June and charged with leaving an explosive device on the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System campus May 29. [Pinelllas County Sheriff's Office]
    Mark Edward Allen, 60, was sentenced to 5 years in prison after pleading guilty to VA bomb scare
  7. Kerry Kriseman, right, beside husband Mayor Rick Kriseman. Kerry Kriseman announced Friday she has cancer. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
    Kerry Kriseman announced the news Friday on Facebook. She said the prognosis is good.
  8. Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins, shown at Mort Elementary School in 2016, is retiring effective June 30. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
    Jeff Eakins, the current superintendent, is retiring, effective June 30.
  9. The Sears in Brooksville, as shown in this captured image from Google Maps, will close next year. [Google]
    The store’s parent company had already announced the area’s last Kmart in Pinellas also is closing.
  10. This is a booking photo of Eric Banks, who police say robbed a Dunkin Donuts in Gulfport in September. [Sarasota County Jail]
    The robber used a ball cap, clothing and sunglasses to try to conceal his identity. But he couldn’t cover everything.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement