Vol 7 No. 21 - Februaury 14, 2007

Center project marks milestone

Ed Chiles signs a roof truss at the Center’s ceremony last week.

By Pat Copeland
sun staff writer

ANNA MARIA – Center officials, Island elected officials and members of the community gathered Thursday to celebrate the completion of the new Island Community Center structure.

"We have reached the structural completion of the project," Frank Mozeleski, construction administrator, announced at a luncheon catered by Mr. Bones and the Sandbar to celebrate the milestone. "It’s the most beautiful building on the Island. It’s like a castle."

Mozeleski said the building is 45 percent complete, the roof will go on in the next couple of weeks and the inside will be finished in June with substantial completion 30 days later.

"It’s quite a process we’ve been going through up to this point," Tom Breiter, chairman of the Center’s board of directors said. "We can see it taking shape and visualize the roof being on.

"To our supporters and donors who have contributed along the way, we sincerely appreciate your help and efforts to make this a reality. As we go forward, we appreciate your consideration for continued support so we can offer the programs to make this worthwhile."

Breiter thanked the Center’s staff members, who have been maintaining the programs in nine satellite locations around the community during the construction process, and Executive Director Pierrette Kelly for her passion and commitment.

"Thank you for your generosity and sharing our vision and for your commitment to making our community a special place," Kelly told the crowd. "I also want to thank Northern Trust Bank, which helped us secure a federal bridge loan for the construction."

She urged those who have donated to take advantage of naming opportunities in the new building in order to leave their legacy to the community.

David Hanson, vice president of Walbridge Aldinger the Community Center’s designer/builder, which donated $25,000 to the project, noted, "We get involved in many projects, but one like this gets to the heart of everybody involved. Forty firms and 400 tradesmen have had some part in this effort. This is the type of project that makes us proud."

The previous evening at the Center’s board of directors meeting, Mozeleski pointed out, "All the materials were chosen for their longevity and all you’ll have to do for the first 20 years is keep a good coat of paint on it."

He said there is 140 mph impact-resistant glazing on the windows, the floors are 18-inch thick concrete and the walls are filed with concrete. Kelly added that Center officials worked with FPL to make it an energy conservation building.

The building will not be a hurricane shelter but can function as an immediate after-use facility, Mozeleski told the board. Kelly said Center officials worked with the Red Cross, which would send a shelter team to the Center following a hurricane, if the Island is habitable.

Kelly said the capital campaign is in its last phase with $1,037,436 left to raise. The community phase of the campaign, called Give Where You Live, will begin soon and donation jars will be put in Island businesses.

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