A star-shaped headband will shine at Marco’s Veterans’ Community Park
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Marco Island Veterans Community Park’s latest design update features a 32-foot star-shaped bandshell.
The design was chosen from a dozen different bandshells from across the country, Mark McLean of MHK Architecture & Planning said at the Jan. 21 city council meeting.
“(We) came to the conclusion that a conical star-shaped headband would be most appropriate for this park,” McLean said. “The stage platform itself is also star-shaped to mimic the bandshell.”
“It sits nicely with its back to the waterway with a footbridge behind it.”
Park facilities will also include men’s and women’s restrooms, a “green room” for costume changing, and maintenance and service rooms, said James Pankonin, architect for Kimley-Horn & Associates.
“One of the things the staff asked for in December […] was both a maintenance room, so they could store a limited amount of equipment there to help maintain the park, […] and then the laundry room would be an area where they could access the plumbing,” Pankonin said.
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Councilor Howard Reed asked the architects if four light fixtures for each bathroom were enough to accommodate a crowd of up to 2,000 people.
“Some bands play, everybody loves it, […] then they hit an intermission,” Reed said. “You’ve got 2,000 people, a large percentage of them heading to the restroom.”
“In my eyes, this is woefully insufficient.”
Pankonin said the planned toilets are comparable to those currently on site.
“When you have the seafood festival, the farmer’s market, you bring portable toilets to complement that,” Pankonin said.
Councilor Charlette Roman said the city should consider adding air conditioning to the restrooms and green room.
“If it’s a hot, humid night, it’s going to be miserable,” Roman said.
McLean said the restrooms would have air vents.
“The code mandates some air circulation in a space that is not an air-conditioned space,” McLean said.
“When you’re dealing with a public facility that doesn’t have full-time staff available, you can have someone inadvertently holding the door open, and the air conditioning running all day, and you’ve created a mold environment for yourself.”
McLean said it wouldn’t be a problem to add air conditioning.
“It wouldn’t be a cost barrier, it would be more of a maintenance barrier,” McLean said. “I would agree that we should air-condition (the) green room and these toilets if they remain private.”
Roman then addressed the other members of the city council.
“I think we could be a penny wise and a pound stupid […] and i think we should approach it like it’s gonna last us 50 years […]“, said Roman.
Councilor Sam Young said air conditioning was not needed for the washrooms.
“As long as it’s ventilated and there’s some air, I think that’s all we need,” Young said.
The ad for a construction manager was posted Jan. 1, Pankonin said.
“It is to be returned by interested parties on February 6 with a final filing on February 12 and we expect to submit it for board approval on March 2,” Pankonin said.
“Once they’re on board, we’ll work hand-in-hand with them on ‘constructability’, pricing issues and design.”
The Marco Island City Council in August approved the scope of services for the Veterans Community Park Consultant for approximately $595,000, the Eagle reported.
“Once (this) is complete we can move on to construction and of course this will need to be funded,” Jared Grifoni, vice-president of the city council, wrote to the Eagle at the time. “I was in favor of using the 1% sales tax revenue to fully fund construction, which will not require any municipal tax increases.”
“I fully support using some of our share of the 1% sales tax increase,” adviser Larry Honig previously wrote. “The community waited about a decade to get started on this project.
Earlier this month, city council approved a resolution creating a nonprofit to help fund city-owned parks, the Eagle reported.
The Marco Island Community Parks Foundation board will consist of seven voting members, including six who will be appointed by city council, Chairman Erik Brechnitz said at the time.
The remaining board member will automatically be the Chair of the Parks and Recreation Committee.
“The people who will be on this board are people who can raise funds and […] have experience in business development,” Brechnitz said.
City Council approved the resolution 6-1 with Councilor Sam Young voting against.
The foundation will offer people the opportunity to make tax-free donations toward the renovation of the Veterans Community Park, Brechnitz said at a December city council meeting.
“It allows the parks and recreation committee to get out there and solicit major donations,” Brechnitz said. “We have no other way to collect these donations.”
Brechnitz said he will also allow donors to make tax-free donations from an IRA.
The nonprofit will be responsible for raising funds for maintenance of city parks, capital improvements, and technology and safety upgrades, according to the bylaws.