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School conversion project continues

AHOSKIE – The process to save Ahoskie’s historic old high school continues.

Last week, members of the Ahoskie Town Council were updated on a project that will transform the old school into senior apartments.

Currently, the Choanoke Area Development Association (CADA) has submitted a pre-application to fund the project. At last week’s meeting, CADA Director Sallie Surface informed Council members that the final application is required no later than May 7. She also said research is in the final stages to establish Ahoskie High School on the National Historic Register.

Surface went on to say that the Department of Commerce wishes to arrange an April meeting with Ahoskie officials at which time the property will be reviewed. She added there were two public hearings required on the project, but recommended they not be scheduled until after the meeting with Commerce officials.

Council agreed to that recommendation. They tentatively scheduled an April 4 meeting with the Department of Commerce and set a 10 a.m. public hearing on May 12 at Town Hall.

Surface closed her presentation by informing Council members that CADA is continuing to explore the possibility of turning the school’s old Home Economics wing into an area that can used by the entire community.

In other matters before the Town Council last week:

Approved a request by Patricia Hughes to close a portion of North Colony Avenue from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. for a wedding on April 2.

Accepted bids for the removal of condemned structures at 314 and 316 Snipes St. (at a cost of $3,000), 526 Snipes St. ($3,000) and 809 East First St. ($2,000).

In the matter of selling property that once was used as the town dump, accepted a bid in the amount of $10,000 from Mike Neal.

Tabled, for further discussion, a pair of $6,300 proposals from two different companies to perform Ahoskie’s July 4th fireworks display.

Awarded an $1,800 bid to Lisa Barkley Interior Design for new blinds in the Council meeting room and Mayor’s office.

Endorsed a Small Urban Development Application grant in an effort to seek funding for turn lanes at the new Bojangles.

Were informed of a recent meeting with Brad Ovitt of the North Carolina-Virginia Railroad in regards to repairing crossings within the town. Ovitt pledged to have the Church St. crossing repaired with concrete, with an estimated completion date of March 31. NCVA Railroad also agreed to repair the First and Hayes street crossings (not with concrete) at some point within the current calendar year. The Main St. crossing will be repaired by DOT. No start or end date was mentioned concerning that particular crossing nor was there any mention of what type of material would be used in the repairs.