On Jan. 31, the Sarasota County Fee accredited $28 million in capital enchancment income bonds to finance development of a brand new county administration middle. On Wednesday, commissioners received their first take a look at what the brand new $75 million constructing will seem like.
Nonetheless within the design section, Director of Capital Enchancment Tasks Carolyn Eastwood confirmed commissioners exterior renderings of the constructing that may change the present county headquarters at 1660 Ringling Blvd. The brand new constructing will likely be on county-owned land in Fruitville Farms.
With an emphasis on well being and health — the constructing will likely be subsequent to Celery Fields, which gives ample train alternatives — among the many architectural options is a glass-enclosed “speaking staircase” protruding from the entrance of the constructing. It’s meant to encourage workers to climb the steps somewhat than journey an elevator, in stark distinction to the present administrative middle.
“On this constructing proper now we now have staircases, however they’re enclosed,” Eastwood stated. “There are actually no home windows. Employees do not work together. Those that use the elevator by no means see individuals utilizing the steps, in order that’s why we name it the speaking staircase. The concept is to attempt to have workers have extra interplay once they use the steps and in addition promote workers to make use of the steps. It is a brighter atmosphere, and it is extra inviting.”
The general public may have entry to the bottom ground the place the three,500-square-foot assembly chamber will likely be positioned on the north finish of the crescent-shaped constructing. A 2,400-square-foot “assume tank,” at the moment on the third ground, may even be on the primary ground, permitting simpler and safer public entry. The ground may even have convention rooms, a canteen for employees with views of Celery Fields, and a 4,000-square-foot fitness center.
“I do know we’re at first phases right here, however what I actually wish to know, in serving the general public in areas they’ll use, is what number of seats are within the chamber? What number of stalls within the bogs? How does that examine to what we have already got?” stated Commissioner Nancy Detert. “One of many first issues I ever seen about coming to this constructing is that the bogs are so properly positioned. They appear very open to the general public and enormous and so they’re excellent there and straightforward to seek out. You do not have to go down a hallway. Numbers are going to be vital to me.”
Though these numbers have but to be decided, the ground plan exhibits restrooms positioned between the assembly chamber and the assume tank, and one other set of restrooms close to the other finish of the constructing.
The county bought its 170,000-square-foot administration middle in downtown to Benderson Growth Inc. in December 2021, together with two adjoining properties used for parking, for $25 million. In April 2022, it executed a land swap with Benderson, buying and selling county-owned land at Nathan Benderson Park for the brand new website on Apex Street.
Inbuilt 1973, county workers estimated the present constructing would wish $49 million in repairs over the subsequent 20 years, and shifting the administration middle to an unincorporated space alongside the interstate would make it higher accessible to extra county residents, significantly because the inhabitants middle strikes to the southern a part of the county.
The design for the brand new constructing is because of be submitted on March 17. From there, the countdown begins to vacating the present area by the point the lease expires on Dec. 31, 2025.
“After that’s the development improvement section for the development drawings later within the spring,” Eastwood stated. “We hope to carry again an preliminary assured most worth package deal for approval, and that might enable us to get began early on a website work package deal in addition to perhaps some buy of lengthy lead objects. Within the fall, we anticipate finishing our design and allowing after which beginning full development.”
That leaves two years to finish the constructing.
“After which we now have a few months with a purpose to transfer all people out of right here and get them into the brand new facility.”