Mayor Bob Buckhorn is thinking about recycling another piece of downtown Tampa from the 1970s.
This time, it’s the annex behind the John F. Germany Public Library, plus the neighboring auditorium with the clamshell-shaped dome.
Once people and the city’s mainframe computers are moved out of the annex — a process scheduled to start next week — he said those two buildings could be demolished to create a new piece of vacant city-owned land near the Riverwalk.
“It’s been in the works for about a year now,” Buckhorn said this week. “We could potentially put out a (request for proposals) for redevelopment of the site. We could turn it into a park. There’s all kinds of things we could do. We haven’t decided.”
Starting next week, about 40 administrative workers from the Hillsborough County’s library system will move out of the fourth floor of the main library. That’s expected to create space for the Florida history and genealogy collection, which is now on the second floor of the annex.
The library administrative staff is being moved to the city-owned historic Free Library building at 102 E Seventh Ave. in Tampa Heights. Buckhorn said he offered the Free Library to the county for the library system’s use. The city is leasing it to the county for $1 for 10 years.
Once the staff is out, the library will start planning to make space in its main building for the history and genealogy collection, said David Wullschleger, the library system’s manager of operations. The children’s area now in the annex is expected to go into the main building, too. The Hive, a “maker space” in the annex with tools and other resources that patrons can use to create hands-on projects, is being taken to the library system’s branches.