Friday, December 29, 2006

Hillsborough County Library System Endangers Children

Updated:12/2906 (see below)
The Seminole Heights Branch Library was recently advised

by the Fire Marshall that the maximum occupancy is 49.

The problem has been is that the kids from the middle school across the street and to a lesser extent Hillsborough High school come over and flood the library, as a place to hang out until their parents pick them up or until it is time for them to walk home. At times there have been up to 90 people in the library. (Twice the allowed limit) Fights have erupted outside. The library has HCSO Deputy on duty at certain times. If the schools had some place for the kids to hang out it would help. Perhaps a computer lab open late. They don't.

What we have is a problem created by the school system, that was being handled by the library system inadequately. The staff at Seminole Heights branch library have long time tried to deal with the issue. They try to control the kids who sometimes get unruly and hog up the computers. One of the prior librarians had to be the person to contact the fire marshall to find out what the occupancy limit is. Why did it take a branch librarian to find the occupancy limit? The management of the library system should have long time ago determined that. (This makes me wonder if other libraries don't have occupancy limits and so are there other ones also overcrowded placing children at risk?)

The solution is to build a bigger library and add programs.

Below is a satellite view of area.

The yellow building is the library. To the south is their parking. Below that and stretching out in a T is the middle school parking. Below that is the City pool. To the right is the school system school bus transfer center.

Move the transfer center somewhere else. Expand the library building (yellow) expand the library parking (green grey), expand the middle school parking (grey), add more park are north of the library and next to the pool. Make the remaining transfer center area into a road/entrance/exit for the complex.

Perhaps the City Parks and Recreation can include a rec center component in the library building.

Seminole Heights has three (and if we are lucky 4) people who could swing this. School Board member April Griffin, County Commissioners Rose Ferlita and Kevin White, and if things go well, future City Council member Randy Baron.

12/29/06 Update:

Where should the transfer center go? The NW corner (highlighted in blue) of the large parking lot off Bird Street, next to the Sulphur Springs pool.

Posted by Picasa
This moves a high traffic/polluting operation out of the middle of a residential neighborhood into an unused area.

Here is a different idea for the library complex. Build a new library/rec center complex next to the City pool so you have a combined pool rec center area with a park in-between. Move the parking in the area outlined in black. This means increased parking for the middle school and the library rec/pool complex. Make the NE corner more of a park area so the ugly asphalt obscured by the park and library complex.


Anonymous said...

Point well taken.
You even provided the drawings.

ranbar said...

Seminole Heights is at the top of the Library board's unfunded construction list. We have been advised by the board to attend the upcoming meetings to lobby to be placed on the funded list, which will put us in the pipeline for new construction.

Some ideas that have been floated are moving the library to another location or to build up on the current site and include a parking level.

While I appreciate the advantage of the proximity to the schools, it should be remembered that the schools have their own libraries, so I am not opposed to relocating to a different site. This also prevents the library from becoming an after school day-care center, which is a complaint made by library staff and patrons in the past.

We have been told that multi-story libraies is a design being discouraged by the board. However, there are many libraries in the county that are multi-story. This would allow the library to occupy the entire footprint of the site with a complete level for parking. A multi-story building would also be compatible with the scale of the two schools.

Finally, I like Scott's idea to utilize the transfer area, including providing a rec center to handle the after-school issues. While I have heard in the past that the school board is opposed to relocating the transfer area, perhaps April can be helpful in that regard.

my3peas said...

I would LOVE to see changes made to the library. Leaving Jan Platt library is the only thing I miss about south tampa. I have tried to take my children to our library after school, and it is impossible to use/enjoy it.
Can someone post information about upcoming meetings I can attend?

Mal Carne said...

This brings up a couple of questions:
1. Should tax money be spent on providing after school resources for students?
2. If so, should it be the responsibility of the school board or the library? Should the library have to bear the burden for trying to accomodate something that it was never really designed to be - a day care center?

I'm not against the idea of updating the library, it just seems that they are being expected to carry an unfair share of the burden. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

I would vote for constructing a new library building (conforming with the historic nature of the neighborhood w/better parking) in another location in SH, like along the commerical corridors (wipe out a car lot in the process...yeah!), and leave this building to become the recreation after-school program site operated by the parks/recreation dept. with it's limited parking, as is, it could still function adequately for this.

Anonymous said...

The parents of the kids need to solve the problem, not the school or the library. The parents should take responsibility for their children when they leave school. They should arrange for a relative, neighbor or friend to supervise their kids if they can't. Hire a sitter if necessary.

Greg said...

The problem with considering relocating the library to one of the commercial parcels along Fla/Neb is that the property would have to be purchased and would then be undersized for any building that would be any larger than the current one - not an improved situation. Additionally, the current site is already county owned so the funds that would be needed to buy a new site cold be better utilized in rebuiling/expanding on the existing building. This location is beneficial to both OSH and SESH via the Oasborne connection - if it is moved then it is not as accessible to both.

Our best bet is to attend the library meetings Randy referenced and start to apply pressure to the school system to move the bus transfer. The squeaky neighborhood gets the improvements - we've proven that in the past!!

Seminole Heights said...

and south seminole heights benefits currently via osborne

Greg said...

all the more the reason to leave well enough alone and make the current site more efficient!

Anonymous said...

Anonyn 1:28 PM, "Hire a sitter if necessary."

You moron! You're thinking in terms of only YOUR capablities. You have the $$$ to hire a sitter and to solve your children's problems as it relates to the community.

Picture yourself a black, single mother, forced to do double shifts at Burger King because your babydaddy is in prison. You relly think that she is going to be able to "hire a sitter." Geat real! Yea, she shouldn't have had the kid in the first place, but the kid is here and he is human, and it is what it is.

Your complaints arise because of the (mostly) black kids whose mothers either fit the above category, or whose mothers are on crack use your library and make you uncomfortable. You don't want them in your library. It is their neighborhood, too. Why not do something positive and try to help them, instead of preaching from your own perspective. I'd rather see them in the library then on the streets.

You would rather have the school system dispatch the police, to put them all in prison and get them out of your neighborhood.


Bill Cosby said...

Someone who cant afford kids, shouldnt have them.
Close the legs and open a book.
Its not my fault she has 10 kids.
One mistake I could work with, but not more than one.
Its called birth control.
Oh Im want me to pay for her crack use and sexual promiscuity while I have to work every day?

Sick of the yuppie attitude said...

I moved to this neighborhood because of diversity. I did not want a place like South Tampa or Hyde Park or the suburbs. But it is people like you anon 9:00 that are going to make this neighborhood exactly like those places. Sterile. You need to get a grip and realize just because you are here doesn't mean its time to run everyone else out or point your fingers and make moral judgements about other peoples lives.

Flyer anon said...

You go Bill!
There used to be a day when they'd put the kid up for adoption and tie her tubes.

Anonymous said...

And send her away for 9 months so she wouldn't be an embarrassment to the family.

Anonymous said...

Yeah baby take the pill. Im sure my tax dollars are paying for it anyway. And while your at it go back to what ever hole you crawled out of so I dont have to look at you anymore.

Anonymous said...

I have a better idea. Why don't we castrate men who create children, but then refuse to support them. I guess maybe you misogynistic morons snoozed in biology class the day that lesson was taught.

And Flyer anon:
It's just too damn bad somebody didn't tie YOUR mothers tubes before she spit your sorry ass out.

Flyer anon said...

I'll go with the castration part also, I belive they did that to criminals before.

anon 10:13
Enjoy yourself now, after next tues. I won't be reading your sorry ass posts.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, choosing the term castration over vasectomy as the course of action anon10:13, it seems like you have some gender hatred of your own to deal with. Perhaps you should seek some therapy.

Mr. Poo said...

Quoting from Mr. Poo's DSM 2007, if one took up a hobby (such as poo collecting), the facination of making babies would end.
A hobby would give you an outlet to vent your frustration at the world.
Stop making unwanted babies..
It is 100% the parents fault.
You know what your checkbook balance is at the end of the day.

Anonymous said...

This is EXACTLY why the hood needs to be more GAY. More money, more taxes, more resources, fewer crack babies.

Flyer anon said...

First they tore down the projects, then they gave the former tenants section-8 vouchers, then we get new neighbors. More kids, bigger voucher. What we need is more owner-occupied houses. less investor owned rentals.

FEDupwithidiots said...

Since this blog is to become less public I have decieded to stop after this post.

Anyone who insist on this being an issue about ethnics is an ass.
O and You gays who think its ok to slam non gays on this board .

You really wouldnt be here if it wasnt for : your breeder parents!

shut the hell up!please.

Anonymous said...

fedupwithidiots, it is so nice to hear you will no longer be blogging!

fedupwithstupid said...

as with you dork

Anonymous said...

Mr. Poo will be around 4-eva so kiss my poo!
U cant handle the truth!
All we do is speak the truth!