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Date of Issue: June 21, 2007

Pavilion proposed for Coquina Beach

Beach dreams
Barry Gould displays an artist's rendition of a proposed performing arts pavilion at Coquina Beach that would be funded primarily from private sources. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

Founders and "friends" of Legacy Inc., a non-profit company created by Island residents, have proposed a 2,500-seat performing arts pavilion for Coquina Beach.

Island real estate agent Barry Gould said the Bradenton Beach Performing Arts Pavilion and Nature Center would be constructed bayside at Coquina Beach, directly across from the northernmost trolley stop.

Gould along with Legacy Inc. president Emily Anne Smith and vice-president and Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie made a presentation of the proposal June 18 to the Manatee County Tourism Development Council.

The pavilion would be open-air, said Gould, and could host concerts, theater productions and ballet. Other events could include seminars and lectures, school graduation exercises, weddings and receptions, outdoor movies, award ceremonies and a number of other functions. There would be two floors to the building, with indoor facilities for some events.

Gould said the idea for a pavilion actually began in 1998, and with the current revitalization of Coquina Beach’s parking plan by Manatee County, the timing now seems right.

"This is a challenging opportunity, a dream and a vision whose time has come," he said.

Gould emphasized that Legacy III plans to solicit most of the funding from private sources, but local municipalities could also contribute.