Sarasota News Leader

02/14/2014

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Downtown Sarasota already has three round- abouts, one at Five Points and two on Charles Ringling Boulevard. Five Points has a flagpole, while the centers of the Ringling roundabouts are landscaped but otherwise barren of art. The next roundabout will be at Orange Avenue and Main Street, with construction starting next summer. The advisory board's staff liaison, David Smith of the city Planning Department, suggested the group will need to work quickly if it wants the art on hand when the work is finishing up. "You are looking at a little less than two years to have the artwork ready," he said. "Do we want to do a call to artists? Purchase existing art? Have a central theme? No theme at all?" Meanwhile plans are moving ahead for U.S. 41 roundabouts at 14th and 10th streets. These will be larger, four-lane structures. "This is a huge opportunity," said the board's newest member, Tim Jaeger. "This is something we should take time looking at." "There is pressure, time-wise, to get these open before the World Rowing Championships are here," said Warner. "We'd like to have the 10th and 14th streets open by then. Hopefully, with something in the center." The rowing event at Benderson Park likely will be held in September 2017, though no dates have been set. "The first thing to settle on is the specs. How tall? How will it be fixed to the base?" added Warner. "We need lighting. How high the base will be? The width. Then you can decide what art and who pays for it." The city has a public art fund. The developers of all major city projects must either contrib- ute to it or provide their own appropriate art for their projects upon completion of the work. "We should take the lead on this," said committee member Elizabeth Van Riper. "Rather than thinking our funds are dedicated at one project at one location, instead, we should start with a call to artists. Our reputa- tion as a committee is on the line." "We need to define this from the beginning," said Chairwoman Trulee Jameson, adding that the group would begin meeting monthly to set the parameters for the roundabout art. "Do as much research as you possibly can," she told her group. "We'll be better off for it." After setting some initial parameters, she hopes to encourage public input into the com- mittee members' efforts. They plan to begin work on Tuesday, March 18, at 6 p.m. in City Hall. % Don't have your own subscription to The Sarasota News Leader? Subscribe for FREE and receive a weekly notification when the latest issue is available online. FREE SUBSCRIPTION Sarasota News Leader February 14, 2014 Page 47

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