TAMPA - Here are five things you need to know happening in Florida on Wednesday, February 13.
(1) Le Meridien Hotel groundbreaking
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and representatives from Tampa Hotel Partners will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Le Meridien Hotel project on Wednesday.
The $25 million project will transform the old 108-year-old Federal Courthouse in downtown Tampa into a 130-room hotel featuring a signature restaurant, outdoor dining, a 2,400 square foot ballroom and meeting space.
Using the popular Beaux-Arts style of the period, the courthouse was completed in 1905. It has stone and marble, three-story columns, towering windows and oak trim throughout.
The building, located at at 601 North Florida Avenue, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place today at 2:00 p.m.
(2) Bilirakis job fair
Republican Congressman Gus Bilirakis is hosting a job fair at St. Petersburg College's Tarpon Springs campus on Wednesday.
The fair will bring more than 30 employers, who will accept resumes and talk with potential employees. Fields represented include banking, law enforcement, education, retail, hospitality, technology, community services and healthcare.
"It is imperative that we connect those searching for jobs with business and employers who are hiring," said Congressman Bilirakis. "By hosting this fair, we hope to help businesses find qualified candidates, while also getting more Floridians back to work."
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Congressman Bilirakis' district office at (727) 232-2921.
(3) Tampa Bay Rays first spring workout
Tampa Bay Rays pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout of spring training at Charlotte Sports Park on Wednesday.
The players will take the field today at 10:00 a.m. All subsequent spring workouts will start at 9:30 a.m., including the first full-squad workout on Sunday, February 17, when the camp expands to 64 players, including 24 non-roster invites.
For all spring training workouts, admission and parking are free.
The Rays will begin their home Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday, February 23 with a split-squad game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Charlotte Sports Park.
The 17-game home schedule includes games against all four American League East opponents as well as the American League Champion Detroit Tigers on February 28.
The Rays will conclude their Grapefruit League schedule with a game against the Detroit Tigers at Tropicana Field on Saturday, March 30.
For more information or to purchase tickets to Rays spring games at Charlotte Sports Park, visit raysbaseball.com/springtraining or call (888) FAN-RAYS.
(4) WaWa opens first Tampa store
WaWa will open their first store in Tampa, and just second Bay Area location, at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Special grand opening events will occur at the store, located at 2901 East Fowler Avenue, near the University of South Florida campus.
There event will be a special performance by the USF Show Band and Cheerleaders; an appearance by Rocky the Bull Mascot; and a hoagie building competition between the Tampa Fire and Police Departments to benefit local charitable organizations.
WaWa is opening a total of five stores in the Tampa Bay area over a five week period. To learn more, visit www.wawa.com .
(5) Eckerd College new traffic light
State Senator Jeff Brandes will be joined by other politicians on Wednesday to announce the approval of a new traffic light for the entrance to Eckerd College in St. Petersburg.
The announcement will be made at a news conference at the Lewis House on the Eckerd campus.
For a couple of years there has been an effort to place a new traffic light at the entrance to the college. The effort gained momentum following the death of Bob Shepherd.
Shepherd died in a car accident on the Pinellas Bayway after exiting campus on November 7. He was a government trade negotiator and a member of the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College.
An rendering of the redesigned intersection with a traffic signal will be unveiled at the 4:00 p.m. news conference.
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