Serving Kenly, Selma, Smithfield, Princeton & Pine Level since 1973

New senior center planned

FEMA funds bankroll building renovation

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KENLY — The brick building beside Kenly Parks and Recreation offices that was previously used both as an agriculture building and a storage area for Kenly Area Ministries is being transformed into a senior center for the town, according to Town Manager Michael Douglas.

Douglas said the project became feasible when the town received Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to repair and restore the facility following damage sustained during Hurricane Florence in September 2018.

“This project has been just a thought for a while,” said Douglas. “Council decided we did not want to tear down another piece of Kenly’s past, so the best way for us to retain a portion of our history was to restore the building.”

Douglas said town employees have been doing a great deal of the work required, including surface preparation and painting, but specialty items including like electrical and plumbing have been contracted out.

“We have been working on the building for several weeks and my hope is to have it completely finished by the end of October,” said Douglas.

“When we examined the building, we found that both the heating and air conditioning systems worked perfectly, so neither of those needed to be replaced, which is saving the town a lot of money,” Douglas explained. “We have already repaired the roof and most of the flooring. The 12 windows in the building are being repaired or replaced with heavy-strength glass at a total cost of $3,200.”

Kenly Parks and Recreation Director Sheldon Bradberry said new carpet was scheduled to be installed this week while electrical and plumbing contractors were expected to finish their work within another week or two.

“We are hoping that in addition to the building being used as a senior center, it can also serve other additional purposes,” said Douglas. “We plan to reach out to Johnston Community College to see if they would like to use the facility for teaching some of their classes like they did several years ago.”

Bradberry said as soon as the building project is complete, the town will schedule an open house so community members can see the refurbished facility.