Sarasota weighs it options for site of former science museum

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Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013 5:39 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. – The site of the former G.Wiz science museum is now in the hands of the city, and they have high hopes for the property with priceless waterfront views.

The former G.Wiz science museum is on a prime piece of property along the shore of Sarasota Bay.

“14 years ago we had a cultural district master plan that we're going to be taking off the shelf right now; dust it off and really take a look at that piece of property all the way down is the gold coast of Sarasota.”

We spoke with Suzanne Atwell, the at-large city commissioner of Sarasota, and she told us that the property came about at an opportune time for the community. “I always say it was quite serendipitous that it came, and unfortunately for G.Wiz, that's not going to work out anymore on that piece of property.”

The science museum closed its doors this summer after over twenty years, due to lack of finances. “It's sad that it's closing. I see people come up with kids all the time looking through the door windows,” says resident Bryan Bartholomew.

The city of Sarasota has high hopes however that coming out of the recession, the prime location will bring about state-of-the-art projects and spark negotiations with many stakeholders. “Many different entities will come, whether it's arts, culture, science, education. All stakeholders in our community will be probably coming to us and looking at how their agency, their situation, can qualify for a public purpose.”

Atwell says they are still in the process of adding four more people to the commitee and preparing the invitation to negotiate. But she says the property's waterfront location gives value and brings in broader stakeholders. “I quite frankly think that whatever happens there, it’s going to define us as a city.”

The city is limited in their options. According to the deed, the property must be used for a public purpose.

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