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Chamber upgrades under way

The Brookhaven Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce is a centerfor changes in the city and the county, and now it’s starting tochange a little itself.

Crews are at work at the chamber, putting in new windows as apart of the renovations that have been planned since 2005, and willbe a piecemeal process for a little while to come.

Chamber Executive Vice President Cliff Brumfield said the woodstructures around the upstairs windows have deteriorated throughthe years, which has led to a full overhaul of second floorviewing.

Officials have said the plans are to renovate the façade of theold fire station, paint all of the exterior painted surfaces ofboth buildings, and repair and replace metalwork and masonry insome needed areas. And still, it has been years in the works thanksto funding and constraints based on the historic nature of thebuilding.

“We found the best course of action to be to completely seal thebuilding to make it as sound as possible while making as manycosmetic upgrades as possible,” said Brumfield.

The old fire station and City Hall are historic buildings, whichmeans they fall under certain standards set by the MississippiDepartment of Archives and History. These standards must befollowed in order to make the building eligible for grant money inthe future.

As such, other than the handicapped accessible fixtures andrestrooms, the building will be redone to look just like it didwhen it was built almost 100 years ago, Brumfield said.

Brumfield said that while the initial renovations won’tencompass all that chamber officials have in mind for the building,they will make it much more eligible for grants and other financialassistance that can be budgeted for aesthetic improvements,especially through the Department of Archives and History.

Adding period-correct lighting and heating fixtures will also bea part of those later projects, in addition to redoing other areasof the first floor, officials said.