New $14 million building in Clearwater aims to chill water, save the county money

CLEARWATER — When it first began to take shape, the box-shaped building that sprouted from a former parking lot on Chestnut Street looked like downtown Clearwater’s latest convenience store.

After workers installed three bay doors on the front, the 4,800-square-foot edifice could have passed for an auto repair shop or a small warehouse.

It’s none of the above. Behind the bay doors are three chillers, each about the size of a Peterbilt tractor truck, that will soon be cooling water to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Four pumps will push the water through more than 2 miles of underground pipes to existing air conditioning units in eight county government buildings downtown, including the County Courthouse across the street.

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