New county administrative heart emphasizes well being, health

On Jan. 31, the Sarasota County Fee authorised $28 million in capital enchancment income bonds to finance building of a brand new county administration heart. On Wednesday, commissioners received their first have a look at what the brand new $75 million constructing will seem like.

Nonetheless within the design section, Director of Capital Enchancment Initiatives Carolyn Eastwood confirmed commissioners exterior renderings of the constructing that can exchange the present county headquarters at 1660 Ringling Blvd. The brand new constructing might be on county-owned land in Fruitville Farms.

With an emphasis on well being and health — the constructing might be subsequent to Celery Fields, which provides ample train alternatives — among the many architectural options is a glass-enclosed “speaking staircase” protruding from the entrance of the constructing. It’s supposed to encourage employees to climb the steps slightly than experience an elevator, in stark distinction to the present administrative heart.

“On this constructing proper now now we have staircases, however they’re enclosed,” Eastwood stated. “There are actually no home windows. Workers do not work together. Those that use the elevator by no means see folks utilizing the steps, in order that’s why we name it the speaking staircase. The thought is to attempt to have employees have extra interplay once they use the steps and likewise promote employees to make use of the steps. It is a brighter setting, and it is extra inviting.”

The general public can have entry to the bottom flooring the place the three,500-square-foot assembly chamber might be situated on the north finish of the crescent-shaped constructing. A 2,400-square-foot  “suppose tank,” at the moment on the third flooring, may even be on the primary flooring, permitting simpler and safer public entry. The ground may even have convention rooms, a canteen for workers with views of Celery Fields, and a 4,000-square-foot gymnasium.

New county administrative heart emphasizes well being, health

The south aspect of the brand new Sarasota County Administration Heart will provide views of Celery Fields, a county park, throughout the sidewalk from the constructing.

Courtesy rendering

“I do know we’re at first levels right here, however what I actually wish to know, in serving the general public in areas they will use, is what number of seats are within the chamber? What number of stalls within the loos? How does that examine to what we have already got?” stated Commissioner Nancy Detert. “One of many first issues I ever observed about coming to this constructing is that the loos are so properly situated. They appear very open to the general public and enormous they usually’re good there and simple to seek out. You do not have to go down a hallway. Numbers are going to be necessary to me.”

Though these numbers have but to be decided, the ground plan exhibits restrooms situated between the assembly chamber and the suppose tank, and one other set of restrooms close to the other finish of the constructing. 

The county offered its 170,000-square-foot administration heart in downtown to Benderson Improvement 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 web site on Apex Highway. 

Inbuilt 1973, county employees estimated the present constructing would want $49 million in repairs over the subsequent 20 years, and shifting the administration heart to an unincorporated space alongside the interstate would make it higher accessible to extra county residents, notably because the inhabitants heart 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 building improvement section for the development drawings later within the spring,” Eastwood stated. “We hope to deliver again an preliminary assured most worth bundle for approval, and that might permit us to get began early on a web site work bundle in addition to possibly some buy of lengthy lead objects. Within the fall, we anticipate finishing our design and allowing after which beginning full building.”

That leaves two years to finish the constructing. 

“After which now we have a few months so as to transfer all people out of right here and get them into the brand new facility.”