06/25/06 — City Hall open house Monday

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City Hall open house Monday

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 25, 2006 2:05 AM

Now that Goldsboro's new City Hall is furnished and fully operational, officials say it is time to put their $4.7 million investment on display -- and they will, Monday.

City Council members and distinguished guests will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the new facility -- complete with speeches, tours and refreshments.

City Manager Joe Huffman said he hopes a large number of residents will make it to Center Street from 4 to 6 p.m. to see "their new building."

"This is an important point in the city's history," he said. "A hundred years from now, they'll talk about the opening of this building."

The event is such a landmark occasion for the Wayne County seat that guest speakers from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and the state government will be on hand to join in the celebration -- 4th Fighter Wing Mission Support Group Commander Col. Lennie Coleman and Sen. John Kerr.

Huffman said the project is important for many reasons.

"It's a significant investment in the community (and more specifically, the downtown at large)," he said, adding many downtown business owners have told him they plan on continuing their investments there as a result of construction of the 32,000-square-foot building.

The new structure also will provide an improved working environment for city staff, Huffman added. In the old building, heating and air conditioning problems made work unbearable at times, he said. Now, the staff enjoy coming to work.

"I've noticed a difference," he said. "You can tell. They seem to come in early a lot."

Huffman said he is excited to see reactions from residents Monday, especially when they see the mayor's conference room and large conference room on the second floor -- because of all the windows that line the walls.

"When you walk into those rooms, you feel like you're right out there in the city," he said.

Tours will be led by city staff and officials and will run through 6 p.m.

Mayor Al King said he is hoping for a large turnout.

"They need to come see their building," he said. "And it really is theirs."