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Architect hired for OZS project

Zebulon city council members recently helped advance the Old Zebulon School project during their Aug. 8 meeting when they approved the best bid for an architect. ’We need to select an architect for the Old Zebulon School project. The reason the city is involved is because the city will be the applicant for grants of up to $750,000,’ said Zebulon council member Joe Walter. ‘The architect’s fees will be paid from grant money or from money the Downtown Development Authority and OZS project have already raised.’ The city received five responses for bids and a meeting was held to determine the best firm to provide the services needed to renovate the OZS. It was recommended that the council approve the bid submitted by Bork Design, Inc. of Athens based on the result of recent renovations to Madison’s Old Train Depot. ’We feel like the smaller firm would give us more attention and it’s very important with this project that things are done right from the start,’ said Walter. ‘They will provide a preliminary architectural report for the grant and get the building stabilized in the meantime.’ A letter sent out to all those in the community and beyond who donated to the OZS project notified everyone that architects who visited the the building in February determined the structural condition of the walls would not allow for the immediate installation of a new roof. As a result, the project must include architectural expertise and assistance. ’Everything was waiting on the architect to be selected. This is going to be the green light for everything we need to do. The good news is that because we raised that wonderful cache of cash, we can begin to move on with getting the building in shape to put the roof on,’ said DDA president? Chris Curry. ‘We can take care of the structural assessment, the environmental assessment and do emergency structural work on the walls and the roof. All of these things will happen simultaneously as we go through the application process for the grant monies. And, in the meantime, there are several more grant opportunities for which we can apply because we will have developed the “must-haves,’ the plan, the budget and the National Register designation.’

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