The Town of Canton has made another big move toward recovery from Tropical Storm Fred by accepting advanced planning documents from the architects who will help build, rehab or restore municipal buildings damaged almost two years ago.
“It’s the next step,” said Zeb Smathers, Canton’s mayor. “Right now, we need all the steps forward in Canton that we can get. As we deal with the imminent closing of Evergreen Packaging, we’re still dealing with flood recovery of major municipal buildings. We’re one step closer to getting these facilities back online.”
In February, Canton’s governing board selected Charlotte-based Creech and Associates to handle three of the five main projects that remain: a new fire department built from the ground up at an as-yet undetermined site, and renovations to two buildings purchased from Champion Credit Union that will serve as a town hall and police department.
Creech has designed town halls in Davidson and Pineville as well as the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
At the same time, the town tapped Greenville, South Carolina-based Craig Gaulden Davis Inc. to handle rehab at the historic Colonial Theatre and the Armory. The firm has worked on historic theatres in South Carolina and Georgia in the past.
Documents provided by Creech show a 14-month project timeline for the planning and construction documents phase of the proposal, during which Creech will perform a needs assessment — taking into account projected growth of the town and town staff — as well as a facility conditions assessment and a facility documentation.
After that, Creech will perform schematic design services including cost estimation. The initial price tag for the planning, assessment and documentation is $137,900. Prices for the design services are yet to be determined.
If all proceeds according to plan, the construction phase of the fire/police/town hall portion of the project would commence about a year from now, and end about a year later.
Unlike the Creech projects, the Craig Gaulden Davis projects are separated out by building.
For the Armory restoration, CGD proposes a lump sum fee of $47,925 for 3D modeling, conceptual plans and schematic designs. The price includes consulting by REI Engineers, SKA Consulting Engineers and Reese, Noland & McElrath Engineers. Estimates by CGD put the design phase of the project at 8-10 weeks.
For the Colonial restoration, CGD proposes the same timeline and will perform the same services for $55,425. That price also includes consulting by REI, SKA, Reese, Noland & McElrath and two other consultants charged with evaluating the theatre’s capabilities as a performance venue — Kyle Smith & Associates and Arpeggio Acoustics.
The cost of the plans submitted by Creech and CGD won’t be borne by taxpayers.
“That money contains zero dollars form our local funds,” said Town Manager Nick Scheuer.
Likewise, according to Scheuer, the money for the projects will come from multiple sources including the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency and the North Carolina General Assembly.
As the projects move through the planning and design phase, completion could come as soon as two years from now.
“These little successes mean a lot more now,” Smathers said. “Every little success is a major success, with all things considered.”