Dade City Commissioners have narrowed in on a design for a new visitor’s information center building that’ll help round out Roy Hardy Trail trailhead — and serve as an important component for a future multi-use park near Church Avenue in the downtown area.
Commissioners on Aug. 25 unanimously selected a preferred design option that was favored by nearly 62% of residents in an online survey.
The visitor’s information center is being funded with the help of a $250,000 grant from the Pasco County Tourist Development Council.
Plans call for a 1,380-square-foot open floor plan with two family bathrooms that meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
The interior space will feature informational kiosks and mobile displays for all county tourism amenity partners. There also will be a third-party vendor space to provide maintenance, information sharing and security. The space also can be used to showcase exhibits from local artists and museums.
The center’s exterior will generally match the look of the surrounding Church Avenue neighborhood, which commonly features homes with wood siding, columns and brick embellishments; the building will be painted with a historic color palette of amber, copper red and black.
The building also will be accompanied by two porches and a bike rack — its location designed to offer easy access off the Hardy Trail for riders and exercisers to gather and rest.
The final building design, however, might take on a few more minor tweaks. Commissioner Scott Black expressed a desire to incorporate some elements of the former Seaboard Airline Depot, a Mediterranean-style structure that was once located northeast of the site. Any changes will likely apply to lighting fixtures, decorative elements and benches that can give the feel of a depot and railway platform, city officials say.
The project’s budget will next be finalized by staff and commissioners. Construction is expected to begin in January following the approval of submitted building permits.
Commissioners in May approved a design-build project bid with Dade-City based Borregard Construction Inc.
Mayor Camille Hernandez described the visitor’s center as “a major part” of a proposed downtown community park that’ll someday be “a destination in our town.” The center will be situated at the northeast corner of the 2.23-acre park property that could eventually feature a water splash pad, playground, event lawn and walking path, among other amenities. “We certainly want it to become something that we’re all very proud of,” Hernandez said.
Published September 02, 2020
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