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City council discusses building options

Building or rebuilding City Hall in Whiteville isn’t going to be cheap or easy.

That was the message Tuesday during a workshop held by the city council to review Oakley Collier Architect’s findings on the mold-ridden Whitley building in downtown.

The firm’s two estimates call for more square footage, including better storage and more efficient public areas. Rebuilding, renovating and expanding the building is estimated at $3,840,530.89, while all new construction would run $2,937,663.45.

Robert-Leder-asks-architect-Tim-Oakley-a-question-while Harold-Troy-listens-and-Tim-Blackmon-studies-an-artists-rendering-of-the-proposed-addition.

“The costs could be more, they could be less,” Oakley said, “but this is just to give you a baseline to start from. If nothing goes bump in the night, it actually costs less. These are just estimates.”

The city hall has been closed since last year due to mold, moisture, asbestos and lead issues. City offices are temporarily quartered in the Roses Shopping Center.

Built to a national standard pattern in 1938, the basement of the former post office is below the median water table downtown, said Tim Oakley, lead architect on the project.

“The water getting into the building is the cause of your mold and structural issues,” he said.

Mayor Terry Mann started the meeting by telling the audience that the process is just beginning.

“Contrary to what you hear on the street,” he said, “no decision has been made yet. We’re just starting. We haven’t seen this report, and nobody has made up their minds yet what is going to be done, to my knowledge. We haven’t had the information we needed to make the best decision possible. We haven’t decided if the building is going to be torn down, regardless of what you might hear. Nobody has decided anything yet.”

See today’s NR for the entire story.

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