New Chamber Building Open to the Public

The Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce re-opens its door to its members and the public.

Referring to the long process of county required change-orders and county inspections, Director Jennifer Jennings said, “We passed, we passed, and I’m so glad we are done with this and we can now get down to the Chamber’s business and promote our beautiful island and our membership.”

History of what has been happening with the Chamber for the past two years.

On Friday morning, Jan. 13, 2012, the Sheriff's Department called in a fire at 3640 S.W.
Pine Island Road this is the location of the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce Building. The Pine Island Fire Department responded with nine firefighters and four trucks. Also called to the scene was the Cape Coral Fire Department who had six firefighters and three vehicles. But by the time the fire department arrived it was too late to save the building and the building was a complete lost.

After more than a year since the fire, the Chamber rebuilding project is well under way. On June 12, 2013, the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce held a ground- breaking ceremony for its new building at the original site on Pine Island Road. Steve Timcak, President of the Chamber, began the ground-breaking ceremony by telling those in attendance that June 12, 2013 was a new beginning after the dreadful loss of their building due to arson.
The new Chamber building will provide approximately 1,428 square feet of space, which is the same size as the original building. The building will have a handicap ramp that will wrap around the side the building with the entrance in the back. The main entrance will be in the front.

Once visitors enter the new building they will be greeted at the Welcome Center Command Center by Director Jennifer Jennings and her great team of ambassadors. The inside layout will be a little like the old building. With Director’s offices to the right of the building and on the left side will be a handicap public bathroom and a small kitchen.

The new Chamber building is an open air plan. The design offers high, vaulted ceilings, tinted energy efficient windows for natural light. The Chamber's building committee, chaired by Pat Hutchinson said, "We worked very hard in the planning of the new building. We didn't want just another concrete building. We wanted something that would make a difference in the Eco system which this is why we are going green."

The Chamber decided on a new Fox Blocks technologies and new green, heating and cooling systems that will reduce the costs and reduce the effects on the environment.

Fox Blocks Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) is an integral part of the movement towards green construction and sustainable buildings. Due to its high continuous insulation value, Fox Blocks walls provide homes and businesses with excellent thermal performance, resulting in lower energy consumption and costs of operation, while maintaining a very comfortable interior environment.

It is acknowledged that the Fox Blocks ICFs have significant embodied energy savings; however over the service life of the building, the savings in energy consumed in operation of the building will be many multiples of the embodied energy in the Fox Blocks wall systems. Further, concrete structures are very durable and so should remain in active service many years longer than a typical frame structure. This means the Fox Blocks walls provide the opportunity for continued beneficial returns in the form of reduced energy requirements for decades longer than typical construction. Quite simply, decisions made in the design of a building can determine the energy cost of the building for decades. Fox Block insulating concrete form walls is part of the movement towards sustainable buildings.

Construction is now complete. Monitored sprinkler system and two public drinking fountains have been installed. It’s now time to bring your brochures, business cards and other marketing materials to Jennifer and who volunteers so they can find a perfect spot to display them for all new visitors to see.

A special thank you from the Board of Directors goes out to Richard Dobson, for all of his time and dedication in the long drawn out stages of getting the building to the completion and Certificate of Occupancy stage. It was not an easy task working with county inspectors and general and subcontractors.

Jennings said “It’s been a long, hard two years but we are ready for a new season to begin.”