2017 World Rowing Championship brings hope for jobs

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SARASOTA, FL--- Now that the 2017 World Rowing Championship has been secured at Benderson Park officials say getting the facility ready is their top priority.

"In the next couple of years you are going to see everything kick into high gear," said Nicole Rissler is with Visit Sarasota.

And when Rissler says everything she means it.  As part of the bidding process both Sarasota and Manatee counties as well as the Benderson corporation, not only agreed to plan and organize the 2017 Rowing Championships but also to construct several buildings needed to make the event run smoothly.

"That means the finishing tower, the start tower, the boat house, and the timing huts, " added Rissler.

Officials say the finishing tower will be a multi-purpose building, housing the administrative offices for International Federation of Rowing Association, as well as Benderson Park's rowing operations. But a lot of the details associated with the construction are still up in the air.

"As for those major vertical constructions, the design hasn't been finalized that process will now kick into high gear now that the world championships have been secured," said Rissler.

One detail that has been solidified is that Benderson will take the lead on the construction.  They will then bid out the work to other subcontractors which officials say will equate to a boost in the Suncoast economy.

"Coming out of the economic recession that we've had, the up coming construction is certainly being welcomed by not only the county but our commissioners.  And we certainly think this is a great step forward" said Tom Polk with Sarasota County.

And, Polk says that step includes jobs for many in the area.

"With the combination of the North Cattlemen Road construction and now the vertical construction at Benderson Park we estimate at lease 450 jobs will take place between those construction periods, added Polk. 

The entire project is expected to cost an estimated $40 million and is slated for completion in 2016, one year before the championships.