Several years back the Fort Myers Beach Town Council borrowed $10 million to help pay for upgrades to Times Square, Bayside Park and Bay Oaks. Shovels have not yet hit the ground on any of the three, however, Town Manager Roger Henstadt recently reported to the council that Bay Oaks, with a $7 million budget, is over that by 15-25%.
Hernstadt said the Bay Oaks redesign will be done in segments to try to address the budget issue.
The Bay Oaks project includes a 13,000 square foot building with 5,500 square feet of gathering space that could accommodate between 200 and 250 people.
The project is at 60% design stage as of now. There’s been some discussion about whether or not one of the two baseball fields can also be reconfigured to allow for more soccer fields. There’s no denying that soccer has become a much more popular sport in the state of Florida than baseball. Trying to wedge additional soccer fields onto a baseball field can be a challenge. Representatives from Little League have said they need two baseball fields. There are two baseball fields in the 60% design as of now.
The next step in the process is to get the design up to 90% complete.
One interesting note about all three projects. Each will have a stage area. Bay Oaks will have a fairly large stage between the columns behind the big ball field, Bayside Park will have a stage where a Gazebo now sits (and will be removed) and Times Square will have a stage somewhere near where the big blue clock sits today.
Bayside Park may be the first of the big three projects to begin. Times Square redesign is expected to begin after the 2022 season.