Chamber renovations continuing

Published 7:15 pm Friday, July 30, 2010

The Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce has beenundergoing renovations for years, and with every step they’regetting a little closer to the end of the project.

And right now, they’re actually working on those little steps -the ones up to the second floor. They’re also working on the otherwooden floors throughout the building, said Chamber of CommerceExecutive Vice President Cliff Brumfield.

“They’re working hard on the floors here,” he said. “We’ve stillgot a little ways to go, but we’re near the end of this phase.”

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Chamber offices were closed Thursday afternoon and Friday whilethe floor work was being done.

Brumfield said the chamber is now handicapped accessible andcompliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Meanwhile, therestrooms and kitchen are nearing completion as well.

The marble countertops are being installed by J&B Tile,Brumfield said, and Maurice Gaskin’s Floors by Maurice is doing thefloor work. Meanwhile, general contractors are working on paintingand touchups throughout the building.

“They’ll be doing the first floor windows and exterior surfaces,and they’ll soon begin painting the interior in the first floor,”Brumfield said. “There’s some wallpaper that’s been here since theearly 70s that will need to be removed, and the plaster wallsbehind them will be painted.”

So there are still some growing pains going on.

“It’s in the finishing stage, and it’s still loud and dusty, butit’s well worth the investment in time and endurance,” he said.

Brumfield said the renovations have been going in phases, butthis one will be completed in the next few weeks. Once the interiorand exterior painting is out of the way, the renovations will holdup until early 2011.

“The fall is our busiest time, mid-September through December,so that will allow us to do our completion of this phase and beginagain next year,” he said.

Officials have said the plans are to renovate the fa├žade 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.

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.

Brumfield said the renovations will make the chamber much moreeligible for grants and other financial assistance that can bebudgeted for aesthetic improvements, especially through theDepartment of Archives and History.