Pier Pavilion to be Removed
What's left of the pier pavilion, several columns, will be removed in two weeks.
City leaders discussed the idea of replacing the roof of the pier pavilion, which sits across the street from Gulfport On The Rocks, with metal and even a removable fabric in August.
However, on Tuesday night, during the regular city council meeting, council decided to move forward with demolishing the columns. Public Works Director Don Sopak says they'll be taken down in two weeks.
Sopak had informed city council members of their options during an August council meeting. He said high winds finally ripped apart the roof of the structure and it was time to look at their options.
Gulfport city leaders already approved $55,000 to replace the pavilion before Mother Nature damaged it in March. The old design, which was built in the 1950s, was far from up to code and the roof was made of two pieces of quarter inch plywood, glued together and formed into hoops.
Options for construction at that time included replicating the old design with a metal roof for $129,847, redesigning the pavilion with a removable fabric system for $50,000 or demolish the columns and wait on reconstruction.
During the August meeting Council member Dan Liedtke stated he wanted to bring forward other options in an effort to stay within the budget.
City leaders discussed the issue Tuesday night. The result, the columns will go. Unless the city plans to reconstruct the pavilion, the columns are a safety hazard standing on their own at this time.
Council member Dan Liedtke, who brought forward other designs, says the final decision was "sensible considering the circumstances."
"Regardless of the cost, the intereste on council and among Gulfport citizens was not great enough to save the pavilion," Liedtke adds.
Liedtke says the decision allow Pennies for Pinellas funds to be used for other capital improvements.
"For example, the Recreation Center is in need of repairs and can use a new paint job. At this time it seems very wise to re-enforce our cities existing assets instead of creating new maintenance items. Going forward we will be looking to the city manager for his recommendations on if and where to invest the remaining Pennies for Pinellas funds."