Infrastructure Approved for Rooftop Venue at Winter Park Library and Event Center
City of Winter Park City Council approved $382,000 for infrastructure (but not construction) for a rooftop venue atop the Winter Park Library and Events Center. If the City finds funding, the rooftop venue will be built along with the rest of the library, altogether. If not, due to that infrastructure getting built, it can be built at a later date.
The rooftop add/alternate would accommodate 150 people for various events and would offer a unique overlook of the park. It will also provide a return on investment for the City. Staff feels this feature would elevate the events center above other events centers locally, drawing additional interest and revenue to the building as a whole. Approximately one-half of the rooftop space would be air/conditioned and the other half open air. It would feature restrooms and a kitchen as well as dedicated storage space for event tables and chairs and other event equipment.
Three other additions to the original designs were approved for a total cost of $2.6 million.
Porte Cochere - $1.1 mil
Exterior Amphitheater - $635,00
Interior Raked Auditorium $500,000 (A private source has stepped forward and agreed to fund the cost of the interior raked amphitheater.)
Commissioner Cooper said she wanted to spend the $382,000 to get the infrastructure in place, go through the excitement of the opening, then propose it in 2 years when the facility needs a boost. She is concerned the sources of funding haven't been thought through and differ from Commissioner to Commissioner.
Commissioner Weldon wished to put the rooftop venue on pause but install the infrastructure to build at a later date. He doesn't want to spend "a dime of taxpayer money" on the rooftop menu. He is fine with taxpayer money going towards the library however.
Commissioner Sprinkel said she'd approve all 4 additions so long as the Commission sat down and mapped out funding sources.
Commissioner Cooper pushed for the following sources of funding which the commission agreed with:
Fundraising including naming rights
CRA will investigate funding
bowling alley proceeds - no . Same thing as general fund reserve.
The Mayor strongly felt the additional costs for all four additions can be covered through private funding, CRA, funding sources from State and County as well as organizations.
Concern was raised from the library that if the City began fundraising to pay for the rooftop venue, that may impact the library's ability to fundraise for the amount they've committed to. The library has raised $1.2 million as of the meeting. The Mayor said that was not a concern because in his talks with potential donors, they wish to donate to the City for the event center and not the library.