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Creedmoor weighs options for future of former school building

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CREEDMOOR — The former Creedmoor Elementary School annex offers a wealth of possibility — but elected leaders first need to decide what to do with the building, a consultant said.

Alan Steinbeck discussed how to strategically use the city-owned building during a presentation to the Creedmoor Board of Commissioners on Tuesday. The city hired Steinbeck’s firm, Pritchett Steinbeck Group, to help with strategic planning and seeking out grants for several projects.

Steinbeck talked at length about the possibilities for the building on Park Avenue and advised commissioners to decide soon how to leverage the structure to improve the community.

Steinbeck said the building could be converted into offices with “flex space” — a mix of office and industrial space. The building could also be a shared facility that houses community-oriented services or a small-business and remote-work center.

While going through photos of the inside and exterior of the building, Steinbeck said he recommends replacing the roof, remodel the restrooms, replace the air duct, install a new ceiling and epoxy or polish the concrete flooring.

The building would need to be upgraded to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It would also need to have key entry and security. The city would need to upgrade the HVAC and boiler room and add modern wiring in the building.

Steinbeck told the board it needs to start with cost estimates and document requirements for building stabilization. He also recommended the commissioners decide on a short-term use for the old school building as well as the most desired long-term use.

He recommended the board start building a general plan of development for renovation and site improvements needed for long-term use in order to identify possible funding.

Steinbeck said this facility, when completed, should be something that the city could be proud of.

City to seek grants

Steinbeck introduced a project tracking spreadsheet that would list active projects with an assigned priority level. The spreadsheet would also include the start and end dates and phase of each project.

With this form, commissioners and city officials will be able to review project management responsibilities and other details about projects.

Steinbeck also wanted to include a narrative or description of the project on the form. The ultimate goal is to computerize the information to provide staff with up to date information to assist with budgeting, tracking projects and documentation of projects.

Steinbeck also presented the board with information about tracking grants activities.

Grant readiness is a key factor in applying for a grant, Steinbeck said. Readiness includes feasibility of a project and proof of concept including budget information and design detail.

Steinbeck reviewed several federal and state grant opportunities that he had been exploring. On the state level, Triangle North Healthcare Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund is seeking proposals on a rolling basis beyond the health care industry within the region.

Triangle North Healthcare Foundation is a nonprofit regional grant organization that supports and invests in health and wellness in several area counties, including Granville.

Another grant, the Golden Leaf grant, piqued commissioner’s interest because it was focused on job creation and workforce development. The grant cycle is open now through February.

The commissioners decided there would be an additional meeting in July to discuss the options for the facility.