Last updated: May 31. 2013 7:04PM - 394 Views
Lindsay Craven
Staff Writer

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A new building could be coming to Yadkin County soon. The county is working toward the construction of an agricultural center that will meet the needs of several county services.

If the center receives the funds that are needed it will be built on land behind the Surry Community College Yadkin Center.

The center will house a 300-person conference room, a smaller conference room, office space for agriculture departments for the county, state and federal levels and classroom space for the Yadkin Early College and Surry Community College students. The site will also feature a commercial kitchen and a school cafeteria.

Aaron Church, county manager, is heading up this effort.

“We have applied to the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund, the Golden Leaf Fund for grants,” Church said. “We’ve also had discussions with the Cannon Foundation, Duke Power, and the Rural Center about ways they can help.”

Church says that the county is also looking into grants offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Church says that the county is hopeful that the Tobacco Trust Fund and the Golden Leaf Fund will be interested in the project because of the tobacco produced and Yadkin County as well as the number of quota holders living here.

Church said that many local business and organizations have already gotten behind the county on the project with written commitments of thousands of dollars to help build the site.

“Farm Bureau has given us a commitment of $50,000 and the Yadkin County Dairy and Livestock Association has given us a written commitment for$28,000,” Church said. “Yadkin County Extension and Community Association has designated $5,000 so we already have almost $100,000 that’s been set aside.”

Church said that the county’s goal is to build the center with the least amount of property tax dollars possible.

The center will house offices for Foreign Agricultural Services, a subdivision of the USDA, Yadkin County Soil and Water, Natural Resources Conservation Service and NC State University’s Cooperative Extension offices.

These offices are currently located in an older building on Elm Street in Yadkinville. Once the center is built and these offices are moved the county must make some necessary renovations to the old building and other offices will be moved there.

“There are a lot of variables but right now there is a lot of work that needs to be done on that building,” Church said. “There are things mandated by the state that we must provide office space for and there is a lot of potential for what could go in the old building.”

Church said that the county has selected an architect for the project. Thomas H. Hughes Architecture was selected from a group of 14 responses to a request for quotations sent out by the county. A committee was formed and the committee members narrowed the group down to four and selected the most qualified architect.

“They authorized me to negotiate a contract with them and I am currently doing that,” Church said. “I’m hoping to have the contract negotiated by the commissioner’s meeting on May 21.”

This contract will require the architect firm to provide a preliminary design and rendering. Church predicts this will take approximately two to three months after the contract is signed.

Once the rendering is complete, Church believes that the county should have responses on grants that it has applied for. If funding is available the county will be able to hire the architect to create the construction documents so that the building can go out for bid.

“I think [the center] is a good, positive thing that most everybody will use,” Church said. “You have to build things like jails that are mandated and no one really benefits from it and those aren’t fun things to do; but this is a building that people will probably embrace because it will a direct benefit to everybody.”

Reach Lindsay Craven as 679-2341 or at lcraven@heartlandpublications.com.

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