(March 1, 2012: Osprey, FL)  A new entrance to the National Register Historic Site and Visitors Center, formerly the Osprey School, is now in the first phase of construction. Designed by Sarasota landscape architect David W. Young, the improvements include landscaping, lighting, and signage surrounding the exterior of the Visitors Center and at the museum’s Tamiami Trail frontage.  Local contractor J & T Holland, Inc. has begun the first phase of the master plan. An official “ground-breaking” event will take place on Thursday, March 22 at 5:30 p.m.

“These improvements will help attract additional visitors to Historic Spanish Point, properly welcome members and their guests, demonstrate supporters’ pride in this unique historic site, and overall enhance the streetscape of our community,” notes Board President Ann Moore.  “Over 5,000 years of history are preserved on the 30 acre bay front site comprised of prehistoric Indian middens, pioneer buildings, and Palmer Gardens.  The museum offers something powerful and unique, educational and inspirational, to all ages.”

Stephen Wilberding and his late wife,  Ann “Stevie” Wilberding (former Historic Spanish Point Board member), generously pledged $100,000 to help fund entrance and exterior improvements to the Historic Spanish Point Visitors Center.  Their exceptional pledge was used to encourage and match additional project contributions and grants.  Historic Spanish Point raised the match.  The final goal is to raise a total of $350,000.

“We are excited about the overwhelming support from the community to date, and we want everyone to join in this transformational project,” notes Ann Moore.  “Please stop by the Historic Spanish Point Visitors Center to see our plans.”

Historic Spanish Point is located at 337 North Tamiami Trail, (US Highway 41) in the Sarasota County, Florida community of Osprey.  The Osprey School House, built in 1927, is where volunteers today greet visitors to the site who enjoy an orientation program, exhibits, and the museum shop.  In addition, the Visitors Center is home to the Mid-County (Osprey) branch of the Sarasota County library system.

All contributors to this project will proudly be welcomed by Historic Spanish Point.  The project completion is proposed for fall of 2012. To become a sponsor or donor, please contact Linda Mansperger, Executive Director, Historic Spanish Point at 941-966-5214 x230 or linda@historicspanishpoint.org.