City wants to spend over $1 million on Waterworks Building

In a possibly over-ambitious agenda tomorrow night, the St Augustine City Commission will consider a commitment of matching funds to a state grant to be used for continued rehabilitation of the Waterworks Building on San Marco Avenue.

The City anticipates applying for a $484,666 special category grant from the Florida Division of Historical Resources. This grant, if approved, would require the City to invest at least 50% of the grant proceeds, of its own money. To qualify, the grant requires the project be completed within a two-year timeframe.

“This Special Category grant will be a major investment toward the full rehabilitation of this historic building,” Historic Preservation Officer Jenny Wolfe told Historic City News.

Staff will ask commissioners to consider pledging $242,334 over the next two fiscal years for the cash match. The application deadline is June 15th.

This year the city will conclude a two-year 2015 Special Category grant of $350,000; bringing the total being spent on reconstruction of the historic 1898 building to $1,077,000.

“It is expected that this project will result in a marketable building shell ready for tenant completion and final adaptive use,” according to staff representations made to the commission.

Thoughts on its use include a multipurpose facility for archaeological and architectural research, education, and exhibit space along with a minor concession operator.

St. Augustine Water Works, located at 184 San Marco Avenue, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 5, 2014.  The 1928 conversion of the Waterworks Pumping Station to a community center, Little Theater, and Garden Center, was perhaps the earliest adaptive use project in the history of St. Augustine.