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Thursday, Jul 31, 2014

Florida Strawberry Festival eyes new building


Published:

PLANT CITY - The Florida Strawberry Festival has plans in the works to demolish and replace an aging building on the festival grounds.

The festival wants to tear down the Arts Building at Reynolds and Lemon streets, which is in such bad shape that a portion of it can't be used. The festival would like to build a replacement building on an adjacent piece of unused land on the grounds.

The festival is seeking city approval to demolish the old building and construct a new one.

"It's just antiquated and to bring it up to code would cost a lot of money," festival General Manager Paul Davis said.

The festival would like to complete the construction and demolition before the next festival, Feb. 27 to March 9.

The building near Gate 5, which exhibits the art show during the festival, dates back to at least the 1960s, and is very energy inefficient, Davis said.

If the replacement building is constructed, two major exhibits will be relocated, Davis said.

The art show will move to the Hull building, a former National Guard armory on the festival grounds. The Neighborhood Village exhibit, which now is located in the Hull building, will relocate to the new building, he said.

Both exhibits will end up with nearly double the current space, Davis said.

"It will be a win-win for everybody," he said.

dnicholson@tampatrib.com

(813) 394-5103

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