Civic Center foyer make-over designed to be prelude to city
The Port Aransas City Council is scheduled to take up the matter when it meets at 5 p.m. today, Thursday, Nov. 5, at city hall.
Longtime Port Aransas resident Jo Leta Gavit got the ball rolling on the proposed project after becoming disenchanted with the look of some of the foyer’s displays, which have been up for decades.
Gavit has collected about $20,000 from various donors to finance the redesign, but that won’t cover the total cost, estimated at $35,000 to $40,000, according to briefing documents provided by city staff to council members in advance of the meeting.
Parks and Recreation Board Chairman Charlie Zahn has suggested that the city use $5,000 from the fund that provides money for the Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie’s Pasture, according to the briefing. Councilman Rick Pratt has requested $10,000 from hotel-motel funds, the briefing said.
A budget amendment would be needed to provide the funds.
The council needs to make a decision by today to be able to have the project finished in time for the 14th annual Whooping Crane Festival (also known as the Celebration of Whooping Cranes and Other Birds), scheduled for Feb. 25-28.
Roy Garrett has put together a proposal for a new foyer design. Garrett is employed as the lead preparator at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History. A preparator is a person who prepares specimens or exhibits for scientific study or public display, such as at a museum. Garrett also works as a freelance exhibit designer.
The council will consider whether to hire Garrett.
Garrett said his design “will provide some very attractive interpretive graphic panels to promote the many different organizations, institutions and agencies here in Port Aransas.”
The design also will include large digital signs showing Port Aransas organizations’ Web sites and up-to-the-minute updates on activities and events going on around town. Represented organizations would range from the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce-Tourist Bureau to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute and civic groups.
Lighting, Garrett said, “will be ten times better” than it is now.
Garrett said he also expects to install large photo murals and reconfigure a game fish diorama.
“We’re going to try to make it attrac- tive to the eye,” Garrett said. “My idea is to use a water theme in the design by incorporating … a rendering of the sea and the sky, so that will be a consistent theme throughout the panels, to tie it all together.”
The exhibit that currently contains fishing tournament trophies would be removed, Garrett said. A bird diorama currently on display will remain but might receive a new exterior finish.
All of the window boxes on the walls will be removed, Garrett said.