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Clearwater paves way for facility upgrades
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CLEARWATER – City leaders last week moved forward with a number of improvements planned for facilities all across the Clearwater area that will benefit both residents and tourists alike.

Clearwater City Council members approved grant agreements with the Pinellas County Tourist Development Council for renovations of three facilities and approved a contract for architectural services for a fourth during its regular meeting Aug. 16 at city hall.

The TDC, which is responsible for making recommendations to the county about future uses of the tourist development tax, coordinates with local municipalities on how to best spend those funds on capital improvements that will benefit and promote tourism in Pinellas County.

The city has approved three grant agreements with the TDC for renovation and construction of three major facilities in Clearwater.

• The first is for the construction and renovation of press boxes at the Eddie C. Moore Fields number 8 and 9 in the amount of $495,000.

• The second is for the redesign and renovation of Ruth Eckerd Hall in the amount of $5.5 million. The city will be responsible for managing, supervising and overseeing the project and must secure all permits and approvals for the project.

• The third is for the renovation and construction at the Countryside Sports Complex in the amount of $1.9 million. The complex has a seating capacity of 350 and includes two football fields and two soccer/lacrosse fields.

City officials also approved a contract with Wannemacher Jenson Architects for architectural and engineering services for the design of restrooms, concession stands, a press box, lockers and storage and meeting rooms at the complex in the amount of $152,000.

In related news, council also approved a proposal by Keystone Excavators for nearly $150,000 to complete construction of the entry way for the Florida Veteran War Memorial at Crest Lake Park.

Earlier this year, city leaders were presented with a master plan for Crest Lake Park that calls for a division of the park into multiple zones, including passive and active zones, as well as interactive flexible spaces.

Potential active zones for the park include playgrounds, a splash pad, exercise courts, boat docks and a dog park. Passive zones could include boardwalks and fishing piers, picnic areas, gardens, game areas and exploratory paths. Flexible zone attributes could include a pavilion, restrooms and small amphitheater or stage.
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