The concrete pour, contracted with South Downs Concrete, came after nearly ten months of preliminary work involving excavation of the basement, dewatering of the earth, and the installation of tons of steel to reinforce the building’s foundation. Since the pour, the entire basement was completed with all the electrical, plumbing and other support structure installed.
The building project will be completed in 2004.
Construction and interiors involve, among many other details, one million pounds of limestone floor tile, 180 miles of electrical wiring and five miles of carpet.
Designed by Tampa architectural firm Helmuth, Obata and Hassabaum, the building will have the same classic Mediterranean appearance as the Fort Harrison Hotel across the street. Owned by the Church of Scientology since the mid-1970s, the Fort Harrison has been restored by the Church to its original beauty.
The new facility has been designed to centralize activities for the Church in Clearwater. It “should be a good fit with the City of Clearwater. It’s handsomely detailed, both exterior and interior. It has a level of detail not normally seen in these kinds of buildings,” said Alan Temple, architect in charge of the project. Helmuth, Obata and Hassabaum have also designed such well-known projects as the new Tampa Federal Court and the Raymond James Stadium.