Rock Building receives additional help from city

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Pike Activities Building, more lovingly referred to as the “Rock Building,” has seen better days, but Monday Troy Mayor Jason Reeves presented the Pike County Commission with information on what it would take monetarily to fix the building.

The County Commission applied for the Alabama Historical Commission grant, which is a state-funded grant program focused on historical properties that did not receive historical grants for the 2013 fiscal year.

Troy’s Downtown Committee has been steadily been focusing on buildings in the downtown area that needed improvement, and Reeves said during Monday’s meeting that the city was more than happy to assist the county wherever they could. Reeves said the main goal of having the architect look at the building was to see if a restoration was even feasible.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“One of the reasons why it was worth a look was to see if this was something that was truly feasible,” Reeves said. “I think this shows this is feasible and doable if it can be worked out. There are not a lot of bells and whistles in the back, but it would accomplish the main three things. This renovation provides office space, and there is always a need for that. That’s something we all have to deal with. It puts a roof on the entire structure, and it stabilizes the walls. I think if you can fix all that, it can be feasible.”

Commission chair Homer Wright originally said the first phase for the restoration of the Rock Building would include a renovation of the front section of the building for use as office space, securing the walls of the back section of the building and placing a new roof over the entire building. The estimates provided to the County by the City included the plans to renovate those areas, according to Reeves.

“I just wanted the commission to have what I asked for the contractors to do,” Reeves said. “While they were up here doing work for us, I thought they could them information at no cost to the county. I wanted the commission to have what the city had and they can take from what they saw fit.”

David Helms, a citizen of Pike County who spearheaded the Rock Building project, said having an estimate for the cost of repairs would hopefully help to draw more interest into the restoration.

“We’ve had people that don’t even live here who have had family members work in the Rock Building, or some connection to it, call and donate money,” Helms said. “We feel like once we really start renovating it, there will be a lot of people who will want to donate. Some people are waiting to see if the project will take off. We feel pretty good about it, though. We know the County Commission is standing behind it.”

Wright said while unnecessary, the help from the city on the Rock Building was greatly appreciated by commissioners and the county.

“It was a big savior for us, because that was something we would have had to have an architect come down and get a quote,” Wright said. “I can’t give you a dollar figure, but it was a big savior for us for the City of Troy to take it upon themselves and do it for us.”

The Rock Building, according to Helms, has been a part of the community for a long period of time. Helms said continued interest was all he could hope for as the project continues to move along.