Neptune Beach Gives Initial Approval to Jarboe Park Multi-Purpose Building

Structure estimated to cost up to $325,000

The replacement for the former Girl Scout building in Jarboe Park in Neptune Beach that will cost the city as much as $325,000 was given initial approval by the City Council Monday night.

The former structure was razed when the city constructed a pedestrian and bicycle path along the southern edge of the park on Florida Boulevard. The new building is part of the overall Park Master Plan which was accepted by the council in December.

The building was approved based on rough drawings provided by VLR Architects, with the council reserving the right to make changes once final drawings are provided by the firm. But the approval was not unanimous.

One of the issues is that the multi-purpose building will also house the restrooms that are required to satisfy a grant made to the city for the path. Vice Mayor Scott Wiley expressed reservations about agreeing to spend money on the building before the Phase 1 of the park makeover was underway. “I feel like we can take this money here and and get started on the playground for the kids, and tennis and pickleball courts, and get that done and revisit this,” Wiley said. “I know we have the restroom issue. But at one time we had talked about the trail needed the restroom, we could go ahead and build the restrooms, build the trail and then later on attach something to those restrooms, kind of a two-phase thing. I’d kind of like to see the funds put in the play park.”

Jarboe-Multi-Purpose-InteriorThe interior space of the building was increased over the original plan, and a deep covered porch has been added to provide additional shade at the park. Mayor Elaine Brown said that increasing the size of the building will make it more attractive for community events and as a rental space. And she said it makes more sense to build everything at once rather than in stages. “Doing this at a time when we can do it all at once will save us money, plumbing the interior and the exterior at the same time instead of retrofitting,” Brown said.

While several on the council expressed concerns about the drawings presented by the architect, Wiley was the only dissenting vote on the matter, with the council approving additional spending with VLR to create a 90 percent complete set of drawings for the building.

There is still no firm date for work to start on Phase One of the park master plan, pending the completion of an engineering study.

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