City of Sarasota hits roadblock with sculpture installation

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Jul. 28, 2023 at 5:42 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The roundabouts where U.S. 41 meets 10th Street and 14th Street in Sarasota were supposed to look very different in the coming months. However, at a workshop earlier this week, the City of Sarasota’s Public Art Director, Mary Davis Wallace said they may have to find a plan B.

The city bought two sculptures for over $358,000, planning to put them in the middle of the two traffic circles.

The plans hit a roadblock after the city only received a single bid to build the necessary infrastructure for the sculptures, which came in at $1.1 million, well above their budget of $514,000.

“There are a lot of projects happening here locally in Sarasota, whether it’s for the city, other municipalities, or even private clients. There are only so many subcontractors to go around to be able to do the work,” says Emmalee Legler, the Director of Marketing and Operations at Jon F. Swift Construction, which is the company that gave the city the lone bid.

As for the sculptures, the City of Sarasota still hopes to bring them to the area soon.

“We do not intend to completely decline those pieces. We want those pieces to come to our collection,” says Wallace.

The city is currently looking at sites near the original roundabouts where these sculptures can be installed.