SARASOTA (WWSB) - Back in February, the City of Sarasota scrapped developers plan to redevelop Lido Beach pool and pavilion. Now, city officials are looking to revive the public facility, but this time around they’re getting input from the public before a final decision is made.
“I think it’s clear that the message is no destination bar and restaurant.” said Cathy Antunes, the lead member of the “Save the Pavilion Committee,” which is collaborating with the city to come up with an alternative. She says, “We need a pavilion that is storm resilient, that will stand the test of time. Lido Pavilion is 50 years old.”
Sarasota’s mayor Liz Alpert says nothing is set in stone, but they are in the beginning stages of planning. “We have our continuing services architects taking a look at it to get their recommendation. We are also having a current appraisal done so we can see how FEMA requirements will be impacted.”
The current concession operator has agreed to a six month extension on their permit with the city. The city is now preparing to put out a request for proposals seeking a long term lease with the operator. And at this point, the city has roughly $1.2 million in funds available for a list of upgrades and renovations.
Alpert said, “Certainly the bathrooms. The kitchen is in terrible disrepair. there’s an issue in the kitchen that may require at this point to be shut down. the entire pavilion and pool area is really in bad shape.”
For Antunes, her primary goals are for it to remain a public park and for the pavilion to keep its signature family atmosphere.
“This is a place where people of all backgrounds, financial backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds to come together and be together and socialize. There really shouldn’t be barriers to make people feel uncomfortable.”