Officials get preview of club building work

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Architects, contractors and county supervisors gathered Tuesdayat the Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln County building for apreconstruction meeting to review the plans of the building’supcoming renovation.

Keith Saucier and Michael Boerner of Barranco Architects inJackson unrolled the blueprints and explained the constructionprocedures.

The building will be fitted with a new roof, awnings, electricalwirings and a new concrete floor, while new classrooms andrestrooms will be constructed in the building’s large activityroom. Almost every window and door will be remolded and replaced,and the building will be modified to meet standards for handicapaccess.

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Jan Scarbrough of Scarbrough Construction in Roxie, the companythat submitted the winning low bid of $285,000, was also present togauge the project. He and his company will begin work on thebuilding early in January.

Renovations are predicted to take from three to four months tocomplete

“The most important part is the roof,” Scarbrough said. “It’s thebiggest part of the job. We walked all over the roof before wesubmitted the bid to check out what kind of job it would be.”

The replacement of the roof is not only the biggest part of theconstruction job, but also the most important single part of therenovation.

“If we don’t stop the bleeding on this roof pretty quick, we’regonna lose it,” Scarbrough said. “The walls in here are good, butthe roof is in bad shape. Buildings go down real fast when youdon’t put a good roof on ’em.”

Another part of the building that is in desperate need of repairsis the activity room floor. It has a wooden covering, fraught withholes, that hides two grease pits from the building’s old days as agarage.

During the renovation, the wooden floor will be demolished, thepits filled in with concrete and a new cement slab will be pouredand painted. The renovations planned will be almost as much as canbe done without actually demolishing the building and constructinga new one.

No one is more pleased with the development than Brookhaven PoliceDepartment Capt. Bobby Bell, the president of the club’s board ofdirectors.

“I feel great,” he said as the architects led the party through thebuilding. “I didn’t’ realize it was this close to happening. I’vebeen hoping for this for the past 10 or 15 years.”

Bell said he most appreciates the support recently shown by thecommunity and the determination of county officials to followthrough on the project.

“When we first wanted to get this building renovated, we went tomeet with Tillmon (Bishop, Lincoln County chancery clerk),” hesaid. “We were in his office for about 15 minutes and he said hewas headed to Washington D.C. to try and get us a grant. From thenon, we’ve just been moving one step closer.”

The community and the chancery clerk made the initial pushes forthe project. But it was the county supervisors who had the finalsay, and they were happy to say it.

“Things keep happening all the time,” said District Two SupervisorBobby J. Watts. “The county never sleeps; we are continuouslybuilding.”

Watts said securing the grant to fund the forthcoming constructionat the building was an ongoing battle that began more than fiveyears ago.

“It took perseverance; going after it,” District One Supervisor theRev. Jerry Wilson added. “We had to go to Washington D.C. to getafter these funds, and they were hard to come by. But we stayed ontop of our game. If you give up, nothing is gonna happen.”

With the renovation set to begin in about three weeks, Bell isstill searching for a temporary home for the boys and girlsclub.