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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."

Related Articles:

Should a New Pier Pavilion Have a Metal or Fabric Roof?

Philip Penrose October 18, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Good decision.
Phil October 18, 2012 at 01:20 PM
When will the city replace the pavilion?
Cherlene Willis October 18, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Phil, There are no "talks" about replacing it just yet. The council has expressed in previous meetings that they would like to replace it down the road. It all depends on the projects available and the budget. In order to replace it completely (with a metal roof, per safety and building standards) it would have been $75,000 over budget. So, for now, they'll remove the columns and wait on the idea. - Cherlene
CJ October 18, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I am one of those people who go down to the Gulf Port area to do more than eat, drink and shop. I walk on the pier,I stroll over to the Veterans Park, then walk on up past The Casino, etc. I enjoy the whole area. Anyone every see the ''Morris the Cat'' thing? Now, ''that'' is a cool thing! It needs sprucing up or it make not last much longer. I've also sat many times on those benches under the old pavillion. Being the construction/perpetual handyman sort of person I am...I rarely look at anything without thinking how it was built and admiring it, etc. I've not live her long enough to see the old roof...but I have looked at the remaining steeel reinforced concrete pillars. They are still solid and in alignment. Cherlenes pics show the concrete pillar tops are formed to hold the former wooden rafter. I agree if the roof is not going to be replaced, then it would look better if they are removed. But why? SHADE THERE WOULD BE NICE. Duh. No way this project should cost the amount in the article. My son and I could virtually replace the old roof with a new one in less than a week. this is a ''super easy'' project. It's doubtful the material would be more than $5000. A week to build it. What...?...the city is going to pay $124,000 for one week of labor?? It's basically just a long skinny carport. It simply would not be that hard to put a beautiful new roof that would last another 50 years or so for very little time and money. I know what I am talking about.
CJ October 18, 2012 at 06:20 PM
If a quick, simple, low-tech, low-cost fix like I just described can't be done....then maybe I don't know what the city has in store for a long term project for that specific area. From a newcomer's viewpoint...I do see that stretch of beach/sidewalk there, that goes from the pier to the Casino, needing an over-all ''new look''. It needs it ''bad''. There are too many other main city sites there to not do more to further enhance them. Excavating all the old sidewalk, paviillion remains, etc...and then putting in a new pristene sidewalk and/or low seawall along that whole area would be a ''city gem'' of a project. Adding attractive lighting, palms, planters with flowers, along with a new, small pavillion would be a great additonal touch. The pavillion could be basically like fancy new covered open air sided bus stop at the same time? You could then sit and look at more than just the beach! Daily cleaning up the sand beach there would truly be a benefit to that area. With sand manicuring and raking like they do at other major gulf beaches around here, it would then actually then look like ''a beach''. Now, it's mainly seaweed and trash covered. Doesn't this city have daily workers to take care of thing slike this?? They need to do a better job. Gulfport is not doing a good enough job keeping things looking sharp...and it is putting the sucess of many businesses down there at risk. This project, though, would obvviously not be so cheap compared to what I previously mentioned.
Phil October 18, 2012 at 07:14 PM
CJ I LOVE your ideas, but the way the City of GOOFPORT thinks is build a few extra playgrounds on the "Other" end of town you know next to where all the seniors citizens live and next to the Rec. Center that already has 2 play grounds and a work out station and sidewalk to walk or ride your bikes on, you know the place where you can't go to because all the kids from other cities come to play football and leave trash behind and the parents stare down us locals and block us form walking on the sidewalk. Don't forget the City also does not enforce any city codes there either, hey why bother right??? The people of Gulfport needs to fire "Everyone from the Mayor on down and replace them with people who actually care about ideas like yours. right now all of them are one big joke as far as I can see. They still do NOTHING about the people living aboard the boats for FREE and dump HUMAN WASTE from their boats. And let's not forget the kids doing drugs at night in the park.....good job you parents are doing!! So see it makes sense to tear down the pillars that do look sound enough to add another roof. But NOOOOO let's waste the tax payers money and tear them down and MAYBE in the next 100 years build another pavilion... and forget about cleaning up the small area in front of the pillars. If I owned O'Mattys I would be for your proposal heck I don't own it AND I AM FOR IT, THAT WOULD LOOK VERY COOL !! but hey we need more playground for the kids who don't live in the city.
Phil October 18, 2012 at 07:24 PM
You know one very low cost simple solution??? hire a sail maker to put o sail type cover along the pillars.... a simple shade cloth solution.... and it would look very cool. OK Mayor I hope your reading all of this ..... hey WAKE UP!!! and do something right for once!!! all of you have your heads up your behinds..... and could care less and waste money of projects we really don't need..... now I SEE VOLLEY BALL COURTS GOING UP why may I ask no one here plays volleyball that much..... either too HOT or TOO cold to play except for a few short months.... just a waste of our money... the seawall CJ mentioned would stop the wind waves from flooding the area ever think of that?? or at least slow the flooding down..... and look really nice too....
CJ October 18, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Yes, I have seen that area you are talking about where they play football..and you are dead on correct about how you described it...and everything else you described. As a newbie, I love the way Gulfport looks a little like a throwback in time to days of old gone by...but I also know that leads to a bad place. Blight. Gulfport needs to keeps focus on their competition...for example the more more classier downtown area and the gulf beach areas from Passe-A-Grill clear up to Clearwater...and way beyond that..say to Dunedin. There are ''many'' choices for people to pick to ''make their favorite place''. To me..it seems like Gulfport mainly caters to the extremely local people...such as those who can walk or ride a bike to it. That's fine and all that...and definitely ''has charchter''...but charachter wil only get you so far. I love going to Gulfport occasionally, but I have a car, motorcycle, etc...and it is hard to not go vist other nicer places around town. I live closest to Gulfport, so naturally I wish it was nice enough to be my main hangout...but it is not. I think a lot of people are just like me and wish it was a little nicer down there. I do think that fixing up the beach area I mentioned would cetainly please O'Matties (O'Maddies?)...but it would do a lot more than that. It would be wonderfull if that beach was nice enough to make you actually want to get your feet wet there. My family will, but I know a lot of people don't want to even touch the water there.
Phil October 18, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Please don't let your family swim or get their feet wet, the water is NOT clean and like i said the boats nearby the shore dump their human waste plus other things are dumped into the water from storm run off. The water has a high fecal count and bacteria count, all this leads to some form of sickness eventually. NOT a place to swim.... or get your feet wet.
CJ October 20, 2012 at 03:01 AM
...well, thanks for the advice...I know it is good advice, but whatever kills me someday is not going to be wading down there or swimming down in the park area. Believe me...I prefer the Gulf beaches...but if they let the seaweed sit on the shore and left all the trash on the Gulf beaches like they do in Gulfport beaches...then they really would not look all that much different from each other. ''DAILY'' clean up by the Gulfport City Workers would make the beach area loook much more appealing. What's hard to believe is not that people can wade and swim down there without quite as much to fear as you say...but to believe we can drink the water out of our tap knowing how it starts out before water treatments is what's hard to believe. Go ahead Phil...pick a hot day and go out there and enjoy the water. Sounds like you really prefer heated swimming pools with the cage covers. I hear ya...they sure are nice...but go down to the beach, get in, and enjoy it like a kid again. You only live once.
CJ October 20, 2012 at 03:02 AM
..by the way...anyone have any ideas why I have sores all over my body and my hiar is falling out?
CJ December 12, 2012 at 06:59 PM
The area where the old columns have been removed looks much better now. I wish they had been in my yard so I could have put a new roof on them myself....but it does look better down down there.
Cherlene Willis December 12, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Yes - thanks for the update CJ. I noticed that they were taken down fairly quickly. - Cherlene

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