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NEW DIGS Members of the Downtown Improvement District hold their first meeting in a new facility at the City Hall annex. Photo by Stan Zimmerman DID AND OTHER GROUPS TO USE SRQ/TV STUDIO FOR MEETINGS By Stan Zimmerman City Editor The City of Sarasota unveiled a new meeting space Wednesday, Oct. 3. It is called the SRQ/ TV Studio. The first organization to use it was – appropriately – the Downtown Improvement District (DID). The facility is located on the first floor of the three-story annex east of City Hall on First Street. Historically, the floor was used by the Engineering Department. It became a warren of cubicles, map storage compartments and cramped conference areas over time. As the number of city employees has declined over the past five years, the surviving workers and leaders have migrated to different areas. With the first floor of the annex unpopulated, the City Auditor and Clerk's Office asked to use the space as a television studio. Previously, the only city meeting venue "wired for light and sound" was the City Commission chambers. Smaller groups would meet in oth- er areas with audio recording capability, but not video, for the sessions. The new space is much larger than those oth- er areas; it will accommodate many more peo- ple as well as meet the space requirement for cables, lights and cameras. It also will free up the City Commission chambers for use by pen- sion advisory boards and other such groups.

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