The downtown Elkin rock façade will indeed become a linear park as proposed, a project that was temporarily on hold after engineers determined additional work requiring more funding from the town would be needed to support a structure at the location on West Main Street. A donation from downtown medical product supplier, Prism Medical Products, will help cover the cost of the project.
In November of 2015, the $265,000 project to stabilize the historic granite façade and create a linear park behind the wall, between two existing downtown buildings was approved 3-1 by the Elkin Board of Commissioners. With other projects ahead of it, like the work to transform the former Smith-Phillips Lumber into a trail and heritage center, work did not take place during the 2015-16 fiscal year.
This past fall, a year after its approval, general contractor Garanco Inc. brought news that the soil borings on the site revealed a need for 32 helical piers to support the linear park structure, which will include a lower level for storage with stairs leading to the street-level park at 115 W. Main St. and an upstairs terrace. The additional cost for the support came in at $44,139.15.
With that news, the commissioners voted at their December 2016 meeting to table the project until news of what could be eliminated or adjusted to offset the additional costs, a report they’d hoped for at their retreat later this month.
It was proposed to cut the costs by Garanco eliminating its overhead expenses, and pulling the terrace and rear bay work from the project, saving $17,565. But this week, the project was approved 3-0, with Commissioners Terry Kennedy and Bob Norton excused from Monday’s meeting due to prior commitments.
The approval came with a donation from Prism Medical Products of $17,565.
In a letter addressing the board, Prism Founder and President Chris Cartwright said, “Prism is always looking for more and more opportunities to connect with the community. We feel that with this donation and the addition of the park it will allow visitors, members of the community and our employees the opportunity to enjoy the company of one another in a peaceful place in the midst of the Historic Downtown. It is our pleasure as a company to have this opportunity to assist in funding a portion of this project and hope to see it through to completion.”
Four of Prism’s employees, James St. Cyr, vice president of operations, as well as Lauren Nagy, Codi Renegar and Vicki Roberts, attended Monday’s board meeting to present the check to Mayor Sam Bishop.
“We are really thankful to be part of the community,” St. Cyr told the board. “The community has been good to us in putting together the best team in our industry, and contributing to the betterment of our community is important to us.”
Bishop commended Prism for its donation, noting, “Downtown’s one of my pet projects. I hope other businesses join in the effort to improve downtown.”
While the project had been tabled for discussion at the Feb. 14 board retreat, Commissioner Dr. Skip Whitman made a motion to move forward with the project and thanked Prism for making that happen. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Cicely McCulloch, before being approved.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.