11/30/04 — Community building to be razed

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Community building to be razed

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on November 30, 2004 2:04 PM

After several months of deliberating what should be done with the burned-out Wayne County Community Building, the building's board of directors and trustees voted unanimously today to demolish it.

"I don't think we have a choice," said Trustee Ed Borden.

He said it was a difficult decision because many people hold nostalgic memories of the building, but it is no longer serviceable.

The building burned in May and the group has met several times to discuss the condition of the brick walls left standing and whether it should be saved, torn down and rebuilt at the same location, or demolished and a new site found.

Borden said City Recreation and Parks Director Neil Bartlett was asked to compile a wish list of what type of building was needed. He said the list included a small, junior-high size gym; pool appropriately sized for recreational purposes and for use by the Red Cross; bathrooms; locker rooms; and multi-purpose rooms.

A room or entry way to sustain the memorial aspect of the building would also be needed. In the old building, the foyer contained plaques of Wayne residents who were killed in World War I. The building had been built as a memorial to them.

Members of the board agreed that it needs to be a building that everyone in the county can use.

It would also need adequate parking and other things that the old building does not have, and that would not fit on the current lot. The current lot has an irregular shape, said Borden.

The group has around $1.8 million in the bank to use for a new facility at an undetermined location. But the estimated cost of a new facility is around $6 million.

It would also need to be about twice as big as the current building.

Borden said the Goldsboro City Council wants to work with the group, but is not sure whether it would match the money. Several board members and trustees plan to also address the Wayne County Commissioners to see if they will help with funding.

The next step will be for the group to select a site. Bartlett will obtain bids for the demolition and removal of the remains of the building and report to Borden, chairman of the trustees.

A suggestion was made to salvage some of the bricks from the old building and auction them off.