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Purchase of Church Property to Provide Rec Dept. New Digs

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Copyright 2013 The Tribune Co. Publishes The Tampa Tribune
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The Tampa Tribune (Florida)
October 19, 2013 Saturday
NEIGHBORS/TAMPA; Neighbors_S; Pg. 1
539 words
City buys church property;
Plan is to convert buildings into a community center
KATHY STEELE; Tribune staff
WELLSWOOD

TENTATIVE Tampa city council expected to approve $400,000 purchase of land and buildings owned by United Methodist Church in Wellswood. Checking on city's plans.

It was an unexpected bit of good fortune for the city when a church and its Sunday school building went up for sale.

The church - Iglesia M.U. Vino Nuevo - is at 5120 Mendenhall Drive, adjacent to Wellswood Park and the park's ball fields. On Thursday, the Tampa City Council voted to buy the property for $400,000 plus $4,000 in closing costs. The seller is the Plant City based district of the United Methodist Church.

City officials plan to convert the buildings into a community center and into offices for parks and recreation staff members; they hope to open the retooled facilities next year. Staffers now work from two trailers at the park.

Mireya Cox, president of Wellswood Civic Association, has sought grants for 10 years to pay for a community center. We need a community hall, she said Thursday. I'm glad the city is doing this. I'm thrilled and excited.

It's truly something that came from heaven, said Greg Bayor, the city's parks and recreation director.

The city expects it will cost an additional $600,000 to pay for repairs

which include a new roof, asbestos removal and possibly new air-conditioners. But the total expense, Bayor said, will be considerably less than the $2 million to $3 million it would cost to build a new community center.

The church buildings have more than 15,000 square feet including 11 classrooms, a sanctuary with seating for more than 200 people, and a fellowship hall with seating for about 100 people, according to a real estate listing.

It looks like it would make a great performance area, Bayor said of the sanctuary.

ksteele@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7652

CENTER, Page 3

It was an unexpected bit of good fortune for the city when a church and its Sunday school building went up for sale.

The church - Iglesia M.U. Vino Nuevo - is at 5120 Mendenhall Drive, adjacent to Wellswood Park and the park's ball fields. On Thursday, the Tampa City Council voted to buy the property for $400,000 plus $4,000 in closing costs. The seller is the Plant City based district of the United Methodist Church.

City officials plan to convert the buildings into a community center and into offices for parks and recreation staff members; they hope to open the retooled facilities next year. Staffers now work from two trailers at the park.

Mireya Cox, president of Wellswood Civic Association, has sought grants for 10 years to pay for a community center. We need a community hall, she said Thursday. I'm glad the city is doing this. I'm thrilled and excited.

It's truly something that came from heaven, said Greg Bayor, the city's parks and recreation director.

The city expects it will cost an additional $600,000 to pay for repairs

which include a new roof, asbestos removal and possibly new air-conditioners. But the total expense, Bayor said, will be considerably less than the $2 million to $3 million it would cost to build a new community center.

The church buildings have more than 15,000 square feet including 11 classrooms, a sanctuary with seating for more than 200 people, and a fellowship hall with seating for about 100 people, according to a real estate listing.

It looks like it would make a great performance area, Bayor said of the sanctuary.

ksteele@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7652

Center

From Page 1

October 19, 2013

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