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Most St. Petersburg Coliseum windows will be replaced, not restored

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

St. Pete will replace most of the aged windows on the historic Coliseum in downtown instead of restoring them. Only windows, including the most historic large window, on the south side of the building will be restored. Windows on the other three sides of the building will be replaced with aluminum clad windows.

City Council was expected to approve the window restoration project during its meeting Thursday, but was asked by staff not to take action on the plan because the city’s historic preservation ordinance is expected to be changed to make window replacement easier.

The windows that will eventually be replaced would still be a wood window, but would be clad with aluminum. While this route is initially more costly to the city, it’s cheaper over the long run. They are expected to maintain the same general look as the windows currently in place.

Restoration would have meant losing out on energy savings, wind hardening and a long-term warranty. Windows on the south side of the building would still lack hurricane rating under the plan, but the energy savings associated with replacement would be mitigated because the south side of the building does not take much of the building’s overall heat load because it doesn’t face the sun.

The city is still expected to contract with Bayside Building Services for the restoration project. They plan to rebid for replacement of the rest of the windows.

City Council member Karl Nurse urged city staff to move swiftly with replacement.

“They’re several years past them being functionally effective,” Nurse said.

City Council is expected to approve changes to the historic preservation ordinance during the same meeting this staff report was issued.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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