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More renovations ahead for Fine Arts Center

South Boston News
Workers with JE Burton Construction of South Boston began the expansion of the Clarksville Public Library by removing the canopy over the front door.
SoVaNow.com / April 09, 2014
Members of Clarksville Town Council discussed renovation plans for the Fine Arts Center with Clarksville Community Players president Barry Roberts during a workshop meeting last week.

This past year, CCP spent nearly $100,000 on refurbished theater seats, a new box office and handicapped accessible restroom facility, among other improvements to the Fine Arts Center. Before they can undertake additional work, asbestos must be removed from the building, Roberts said.

“We are told that any construction will disturb the asbestos,” he told Council. The biggest concentration is found in the basement and wrapped around the pipes that run throughout the building.

Roberts asked Council to consider allocating funds for asbestos removal in the upcoming town budget, which is slated to go into effect July 1. CCP has applied for grant money to help defray the costs, which early estimates suggest could run around $30,000. If CCP is awarded the grant, the town will need to come up with matching funds of only $5,000.

Costs for the remaining restoration work planned by CCP — to add handicap accessible ramps, remove the old boiler/furnace, construct new resources, upgrade the electrical wiring, install new stage lighting, redo the main auditorium and build a new lobby — are pegged around $1.3 million. Roberts said this work will begin as monies are raised.

Robert asked Council to consider raising the rental rates the town charges for the building. “We don’t want to run people off,” he said, “but the $100 per day was set back in the ‘80s.” He suggested raising the rent to $200 per day to “cover costs.”

In other business, Town Manager Jeff Jones shared that work on the Clarksville Library expansion is progressing: “Burton [Construction, the company hired for the project] has already deconstructed the canopy, installed a new handicapped accessible entrance, and hopes to pour the footers for the new entry early next week, weather permitting.”

Also, Kenneth Johnson has rejoined the Clarksville Police Department, after serving stints with both the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department and the Chase City Police Department. He replaces officer Joe Carey Jr., who earlier this year accepted a position with the Chase City Police Department.

Jones said Johnson, a former member of Clarksville Town Council, will be formally sworn in during the Council meeting on April 15.

Work on the Wells Fargo retaining wall in downtown Clarksville is nearly complete, said Jones. “Really all that is left is some minor clean up and repair of some brick pavers that collapsed.”

Officials with Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative are helping the town with its osprey nesting problem. The ospreys like to build their nests in the lightpoles at Robbins

Park. MEC designed a platform that extends out from the light pole. It gives the birds a place to build their nest away from the lights.

Jones announced the budget schedule for the fiscal coming fiscal year. The budget workshop is set for May 13, and the public hearing will take place on May 20 before the regular Council meeting.



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