ASHEBORO – A study of the home at the future David and Pauline Jarrell Center City Garden projected the costs of renovating the home on 205 South Cox Street or demolishing it and building a new visitor's center from the ground up.
The Asheboro City Council reviewed an analysis by HH Architecture during the Oct. 5 meeting. Community Development Director Trevor Nuttall said the city needs guidance on which option they'll pursue so that work can begin on the property.
Mayor David Smith told council members to talk to Nuttall individually and for a decision to be made based on consensus.
After receiving this report, the Downtown Redevelopment Commission changed its position from renovation to demolition, as long as the new building is in harmony with the neighborhood. Nuttall said that public sentiment, however, remains to keep the two-story brick home.
Former Mayor David Jarrell wishes to keep the home. He said at the meeting, "Whatever you decide is in the best interest for the city, you have no qualms with the Jarrell family. But all my family has expressed desire to preserve the house and use it for a welcome center."
Jarrell and his wife Pauline donated the land on the condition that it be turned into a garden for the public.
According to the analysis, renovation could cost $742,153 to 992,413 depending on the extent of the damage. A new build was projected to cost $884,023, but Nuttall noted that structure would be larger with a better value for price per square foot. The report included some visual scenarios for renovation or new construction. None of these visuals are the final design.
A previous non-invasive analysis by Summey Engineering Associates recommended removing the house. It said, "The existing incompatible floor plan layout combined with the cost of repair and upgrading to current building and ADA (American Disability Act) code compliance would be cost prohibitive."
Smith said, "This house fits the neighborhood. If we decide we need to bulldoze, there's no reason to say we couldn't rebuild the exact same house."
Council member Jane Redding said, "I live in a 1932 house, and I love it, but I know what it does. Nothing quite works as well because we're forcing it. This is what it looks like and we're trying to make something else."
Council member Kelly Heath asked about grants. Nuttall said they plan to request Land and Water Conservation funding and other grants related to amenities.
Mayor Pro Tem Walker Moffitt suggested adding an addition on the back of the house for the restrooms, alleviating the issue of visitors having to walk all the way through the building to access them. He agreed with the desire to keep the welcome center consistent with the neighborhood, saying, "This is what we want it to look like in the end, whether it's this one or another."