07/29/12 — Pikeville looking at old town hall

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Pikeville looking at old town hall

By Aaron Moore
Published in News on July 29, 2012 1:50 AM

PIKEVILLE -- After spending three years in a mobile home on West School Street, town officials are looking at plans to renovate and move back into their old town hall.

Officials had to vacate the original town hall when water leaks and resulting damage made it impossible to walk through the building without an umbrella, said Town Administrator Kathie Fields.

"It's old. It's very old," she said.

On Thursday, however, the town hired an architect from AECOM, Roula Qubain, to conduct a feasibility study for the renovations and provide a draft of a plan.

Ms. Qubain said she didn't know how much the renovations might cost, but loans and grants could be available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the North Carolina Rural Center.

"We just need to establish a need for this use," Ms. Qubain said. "This project will revive the downtown area. You're investing in the community."

But before the town can apply for those grants, officials must approve the plans and find out estimates for how much the project will cost.

"At this point, as I said, it's preliminary, it's just conceptual, and we get the estimates going and then finalize and do a design," Ms. Qubain said.

Town board members said they will review Ms. Qubain's plans and decide if they want to move forward with them at an Aug. 6 meeting. If the cost is too much or if the project doesn't qualify for grants, Mrs. Fields said they can always go back and look at other options.

"You've got to apply to know if you're going to get it," she said.

In other business, the board decided to make a bank contract with Heritage Bank instead of BB&T. Mrs. Fields said Heritage Bank will pay interest on checking, pay for accounts payable checks and does not have service charges.