Veterans Services will have new site
By Steve Herring
Published in News on April 26, 2012 1:46 PM
The Wayne County Veterans Services office will open May 1 in its new location at the former Nash Printing building, 2001-D E. Ash St.
The office will not close during the move. Staff will not make appointments between April 25 and May 1, but will continue to serve walk-in customers.
Veterans Services will share the building with Literacy Connections of Wayne County, a nonprofit adult literacy program which had been housed at the Wayne County Public Library on East Ash Street.
In both cases, the moves are designed to provide more space for the programs while freeing up space at their existing locations.
Veterans Services currently shares space with the Board of Elections on North William Street.
The county spent $9,800 to install doors and glass walls to renovate the Nash Printing building, a small price compared to the sacrifices veterans have made, County Manager Lee Smith said.
The work was paid for through existing county funds, and the cost equates to about what the county would pay to rent a building for a year, Smith said.
It will double the agency's current office space and triple the meeting area, he said.
Some work remains to be done including installing automatic doors. Signs, in a red, white and blue design have been ordered.
The renovations created a central intake area and a large meeting room capable of accommodating up to 75 people. Smith said groups like the Wayne County Disabled American Veterans will be able to use the meeting area.
Smith said the county had been talking with Veterans Services officials for several years about the need for a new office since the existing location can be difficult to find and parking can be a problem as well.
The Nash Printing building is better located on a main street, is closer to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and to the GATEWAY bus routes, Smith said.
The location will be enhanced once the county completes renovations of the nearby Sportsman's World building to house Services on Aging -- a number of the county's veterans are senior citizens, he said.
There also is an advantage of Veterans Services sharing space with Literacy Connections, he said.
Literacy Connections will be set up so that people can test for a Career Readiness Certificate or WORK Keys certification, Smith said.
That will make it easier for veterans to test for those certificate, he said.
The renovated building includes a large environmentally controlled storage area -- something that the county currently lacks, he said.
Once Veterans Services moves, the Board of Elections will use the additional space for storage. Smith does not foresee much, if any cost, for that.
Smith said he has spoken with Board of Elections officials about moving the one-stop voting site from the library to the Nash Printing building.
That, he said, would eliminate issues associated with having the site at the library.
The county purchased the old Sportsman's World building and two outlying buildings, including the Nash Printing building, last May for about $1.5 million.