Main Street banners approved

Published 9:19 am Tuesday, April 28, 2015

AHOSKIE – Following a meeting with Roanoke-Chowan Community College officials, the director of the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce, and Ahoskie Town Manager Tony Hammond a rendering of the final design for the street banners which will be attached to light poles on Main Street was revealed at the April meeting of the Town Council Meeting.

Chamber Director Amy Braswell along with RCCC President Dr. Michael Elam were present to discuss the banners before Council.

“One of our concerns was that the town needed to be identified on the banners,” said Hammond before Council. “So they went back and re-designed them.”

“We took the feedback and went through a number of scenarios,” said Elam. “We feel that this design has the best presentation on the street.”

The design is a vertical rectangle, 18” x 45”, on a white and royal blue background with the Ahoskie Town logo in the banner’s center.  At the top is the logo for Roanoke-Chowan Community College and beneath that are the words, “Home of the Waves”, the mascot of RCCC.  On the underside, below the town emblem are the words “College Begins Here”.  The blue backdrop and graphics cover two-thirds of the banner facing. To the left of the royal-blue backdrop on the white background – and separated by a sky-blue wave swirl – also running vertical from bottom to top, are the words “Welcome to Ahoskie”, with the town name in large block letters.

On one of the designs the sky-blue outline completely frames the royal-blue backdrop, while on another the outline is absent.

“The one with the blue frame is just more complete-looking to me,” Elam continued.

“I told (Hammond) I wanted to see the town represented, and I also wanted to see the college represented,” said Councilwoman Linda Blackburn. “I think you all did a wonderful job.”

“The town seal adds a lot of color and character,” said Braswell.

Hammond said a bid for the design of the banners has been received from Mosca Design of Raleigh, the same company that does the Christmas lights for the town.

The Town Manager said two proposals have been submitted: one for 16 signs, which would be every other pole on Main Street; the other would be for 33 signs: one to occupy every light pole on the street.

It is anticipated that the cost of the banners would be $1,716 for 16 banners and $3,448.50 for 33.

“Since we do a lot of business with them, I might be able to get a little bit of a discount,” Hammond stated.

Blackburn stood up in defense of the seasonal signs that the town uses throughout the year: not only Christmas, but also for Heritage Days.

“I love our seasonal signs,” she said. “If you put one on every pole then we wouldn’t have (room for the) seasonal signs.”

Councilman Charles Freeman inquired about the history of RCCC and the choosing of the mascot nickname, “Waves”.

“They won the championship (in basketball) in either 1971 or ’72,” Freeman said. “I want to know what their nickname was then, and where did the word ‘Waves’ come from?”

Elam admitted he was not aware of the mascot history; meanwhile Freeman maintained the college’s team was coached by Robert Sessoms and that the championship game was played in Kinston because he attended the game.

“I want to know if that name is still around before we say the Waves,” Freeman inquired. “I know it hasn’t been used since.”

Freeman also wondered if by using the slogan “College begins here”, if offense would be taken by the town of Murfreesboro because of Chowan University.

“Each institution picks a tag-line,” said Elam. “The whole purpose of it is to try to get action, to get people to try to think about higher education and to think about the college in our town.  Think of Ahoskie as where you’d like to begin your education; not to take away from Murfreesboro, but we want them to start here.”

Blackburn chimed in her support, citing her own association with this form of higher education.

“I’m the product of a community college,” she stated. “If it weren’t for the community college, I wouldn’t be focused today.”

Councilman Rev. C. David Stackhouse serves also on the RCCC Board of Trustees and praised student uplift.

“We’ve had more students this year move on to four-year institutions than any other community college in the state,” he said. “With this slogan, we’re promoting to our students to start here and make it on to other institutions.”

“I’d just like to know the history since we’re being asked to spend the money,” Freeman pointed out.

Discussion returned to the banner design and the chevron ornament seemed to garner the greater preference among the Council members.

Stackhouse then made a motion, seconded by Blackburn, that the town share on-half the cost of 16 banners.  Mayor Brien Lassiter called for a vote, and the motion passed unanimously.

As a post-script, Blackburn asked when the banners would be installed on the poles and Elam said it takes about three weeks.