12/15/06 — City closes deal on site for new community building

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City closes deal on site for new community building

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 15, 2006 1:45 PM

Goldsboro officials said while a funding plan still is not in place for the Paramount Theater and Wayne County Memorial Community Building reconstruction projects, efforts to move along with both continue and progress is being made.

The city recently closed the deal on property located on the 200 block of Center Street -- the future sight of the estimated $10 million community building.

Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan called the move "a good start."

"The purchase of the property is definitely our first step," she said. "The council has selected the place they feel the community building needs to go."

In September, the city entered into option agreements to purchase the two parcels of land for a total cost of $450,000. The first, owned by Claude and Evelyn Paul, was purchased for $187,500. The second, owned by Patrick McArthur and Paul, sold for more than $260,000.

Now that the property is city-owned, it is expected that the City Council's October bid approval for demolition of the site will go into effect.

The bid, submitted by A/K Demolition and Grading, of LaGrange, is for demolition and removal of all buildings, sheds, pavement, light poles, fixtures, fencing and other material on the site.

"Shortly after the New Year, you'll probably see some demolition going on at that site," Ms. Logan said.

The cost of that work, $86,000, will likely be covered by Community Development Block Grant funds, she added, but officials will wait to make that decision until they receive a recommendation from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Generally, HUD allows for those funds to be used to remove areas of blight via demolition.

And while no formal plan for the new community building has been approved by City Council members, Recreation Center Committee members said they are confident their designers will work out the final details of the project.

"They're moving forward with the design of the building," Mrs. Logan said. "We're still waiting on the final recommendation."

Early plans called for a building similar to a standard YMCA, equipped with pools, exercise rooms, an indoor track, shower facilities and locker space.

The original facility, located downtown on Walnut Street, opened in 1925 and was dedicated to Wayne County veterans who fought and died in World War I.

The building, like the Paramount Theater, was destroyed by fire, and at the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp.'s annual awards banquet held in September, Mayor Al King announced that councilmen had agreed to pursue reconstruction of both buildings -- projects he said would probably be completed in the next two or three years.