12/04/08 — Board asks for input on building site

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Board asks for input on building site

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on December 4, 2008 1:46 PM

The board of trustees of the old Community Building wants Wayne County residents to help decide what should be done with land the board owns on the corner of William and Walnut streets.

A public meeting is set for Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Wayne County Public Library in the Weil Auditorium to discuss the site that once housed the Community Building.

The group has also discussed giving the city $1 million toward the construction of the new Community Recreation Center, which is scheduled to be built on South Center Street.

Board Chairman Ed Borden said the building was, and the land still is, owned by the citizens of Wayne County because they are the ones who gave the money to build the former Community Building in 1925.

"The money came from every corner of the county. ... We have quite an obligation to let people say what they want us to do with it," he said. "We want to get as much input as we can from all of our constituents -- the Wayne County commissioners, the Goldsboro City Council, the civic and social groups, the citizens."

The board has heard several options for the land -- to sell it to a private company and add it back into the tax base, to keep it and make the space a memorial area or to do part of both by using the corner as a memorial and selling the rest.

But Borden and the board want to hear what county residents think about the choices or if they have any other suggestions for the land.

"I would hate to go through with some project that we think is a good one, and some part of the county didn't think it was such a good idea," he said.

The board received $2 million in insurance proceeds after the old building burned in May 2004.

The old Community Building was a memorial for Wayne County soldiers who fought in World War I and subsequent wars. One of the contingencies that have been discussed in connection with the board's proposed $1 million donation to the new rec center is that the new center must have a memorial.

The new center must also be open to all Wayne County residents, just like the old Community Building was.

The board will likely hold on to the other $1 million for now to use for the land where the old building sat, Borden added. And in the future, if the board doesn't use all of the money for the land, it might give the rest to the city for the new recreation center.