Rock Building project sees progess

Published 10:14 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Progress means moving forward and Monday’s Pike County Commission meeting brought both to a project that has long needed action.

Over the last few months, Pike Countians have been in debates about what to do with the Pike County Activities Center, more lovingly referred to as The Rock Building. For two decades the building has sat unoccupied, blighted from damages caused by a fire and riddled with mold and other safety hazards. The building hasn’t been fit for use, and its future been uncertain due to the costs of repairs and other, more pressing issues facing a cash-strapped commission.

However, grassroots efforts to save the building sparked more community interest and a probate judge’s proposal for sharing a portion of the renovation costs pushed the issue to the forefront of commission agendas. Commissioner Jimmy Barron, District 3, approached commissioners some time ago to have a certified appraisal done on the building to lay the foundation for the building’s future.

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On Monday, Barron’s request was finally approved, putting in place a first step toward determining the building’s future.

With a certified appraisal, several things can now happen. With an appraisal, commissioners will finally be able to put a dollar amount on the building’s value. And, while memories are priceless, repairs are not. If costs to repairs are more than the building is worth, commissioners may see that repairs would not be worth the extra strain on the county budget and chose to take a different course of action with the property. However, if repairs will only increase the building’s value and money is available, commissioners could choose have the repairs made.

Most important, the will give the commissioners a basis for how much or little they can accept in order to sell the building.  Commissioners have discussed the idea of selling the building to an organization able to repair it, and with a certified appraisal they have a starting point for where to begin pricing the building.

A certified appraisal of the Rock Building may not seem like much, but it is the starting point for the building’s continued future in Pike County.