Pinellas Commissioners Approve East Lake Library Funding Application | Pinellas County

EAST LAKE — Pinellas County Commissioners have approved a $20,000 request from the East Lake Community Library for a new aluminum shed to replace two existing sheds that have deteriorated to the point that the items inside are no longer protected.

The library currently has two outdoor wooden sheds which it uses to store items such as equipment, donations and program supplies in what has been described as “less than ideal conditions”. According to a project fund allocation application from the county’s municipal finance unit, the old wooden sheds are not air-conditioned and have deteriorated over time. Many items stored indoors need to be discarded due to mold and mildew.

Library manager Lois Eannel wrote that the library had lost many fine donations that could have been sold in the Friends of the Library bookstore or used as prizes for the summer reading program.

Plans call for the demolition and removal of the two existing sheds. They will be replaced with a large 12-by-30-foot aluminum shed anchored to the existing cement slab on the southeast portion of the library property.

After the new shed is installed, electrical connections will be added to provide lighting, air conditioning, fans and other components to improve the functionality of the shed and preserve the items stored inside.

The new shed will have double doors, windows and a ramp. To maximize space and avoid clutter, organizational components such as tiered shelving, wall hooks, bins and other storage solutions will be used.

Eannel writes that due to supply chain issues, delivery of the hangar is not expected until eight to 10 months after ordering.

“However, it’s worth the wait, if approved, as this structure will come with a 20-year warranty and can withstand winds of up to 180 mph,” Eannel wrote in the application. “Once the building is installed, we can start using it immediately while waiting for electrical permits to proceed with lighting, air conditioning, etc.”

She pointed to several long-term outcomes, including “assurances” from Friends of the Library to pay for umbrellas or a canopy structure over the rest of the concrete slab to create an outdoor venue for special events. The shed could then be used to house program components, such as portable outdoor seating and tables to be used for classrooms and workshops, which would expand the use of the shed to more than just storage.

Eannel provided quotes from three vendors for the hangar, including one for $14,070, $14,635 and $11,585 plus a quote for the demolition of the existing hangar for $2,950. The cost of a hangar organization system came to $480. Quotations for the electrical installation were pending. The last estimate was $2,500. The total cost of the project was estimated at $20,000.

Part of the funding request asks how a project aligns with the county’s strategic plan.

“Health and safety is of the utmost importance and the unhealthy conditions that are evident in existing hangars must be removed,” Eannel wrote. “The new shed will be both functional and attractive and will serve many purposes, giving the library greater flexibility with its donations, program supplies, etc., thereby supporting continued economic growth.”

Suzette Porter is the Pinellas County Editor of TBN. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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