02/13/09 — Foster Center repairs a priority

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Foster Center repairs a priority

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on February 13, 2009 1:46 PM

W.A. Foster Center should not be forgotten.

That's what Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission members said at their meeting Tuesday evening.

The building has cracks in some of the floors and walls and needs a structural evaluation, which city officials are currently ready to contract out, said Goldsboro Parks and Recreation interim director Gail Charles.

"I spoke with our city engineer, and he said that our personnel couldn't do the evaluation," Mrs. Charles said. "I am waiting for a call back from two people I have contacted to perform the evaluation."

But members want to make sure that fixing the facility remains a top priority for city officials.

"I think we need to push it (fixing the facility)," commission member Mike Farfour said. "I suggest we get right on this before it falls apart."

The building is not a safety issue, but if "neglected," it might eventually become one, Mrs. Charles said.

"Do we have any money for it?" Farfour asked.

"We don't have any money budgeted," City Councilman and ex-officio commission member Don Chatman said. "We don't know what it's going to cost yet."

After the structural evaluation is performed, city officials will be able to estimate repair costs.

But the complete fix might not be able to be accomplished quickly, Chatman said. "Depending on the problem, we might not be able to do it all at once, but we'll try to keep it from falling apart," he said.

The councilman said council has been discussing the facility and the necessity for its repair for months now, and added that city officials will continue to monitor it.

"I think we know this is a priority," commission chairman Betsy Wharton said.

The commission put W.A. Foster Center's repairs at the top of the list in October after a draft of the comprehensive master plan brought the facility's problems to the forefront.

The commission also said goodbye to three members and welcomed three new members Tuesday. James Dais, McRoy and Ebony Hagans have served their maximum consecutive time on the board. Glenn Barwick, Dexter Yelverton and Jerry Phillips will serve in those positions.