City Council supports application to put former middle school building on National Register, asks for 2 edits

CharlesCityMiddleSchoolII

UPDATE

CHARLES CITY (Thursday, May 11, 2017) — Municipal leaders are prepared to back the effort to get a federal designation for the former Charles City Middle School building that could help in adapting it for a new use.

Wednesday night, the Charles City Council was supportive of the application by developer Charley Thomson to have the 1931 building added to the National Register of Historic Places. Councilmen asked for two changes, however. The first is noting the building is publicly not privately owned.

Thomson has plans to purchase the Art Deco building at 500 N. Grand from the district and convert it for residential use. The sale has not yet been completed.

“If the North Grand Building is placed on the National Register, it opens up additional funding streams for repurposing,” Charles City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Cox said.

A second change is removing a reference about the city leasing space in the building, indicating instead that the school district intends to lease space.

A vote to have Mayor James Erb sign the application to show the city’s support is scheduled for the council’s Monday, May 15, meeting.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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CHARLES CITY — A city commission is trying to get the former home of Charles City Middle School on the National Register of Historic Places. The City Council is scheduled to discuss the application tonight.

“The Charles City Historic Preservation Commission on May 1 reviewed and endorsed the application, directing the chair to sign the Evaluation Report Form.” Community Development Director Mark Wicks wrote in an email to city administration. “That form also seeks the signature of the chief elected official, meaning it needs to go before the City Council to direct the mayor to sign.”

These are links to Wicks’ email and the application:

A section of the application labeled “Future Plans” says: “An historic rehabilitation of the Charles City High School (500 N. Grand) is currently in the planning stages. The plan involves adaptive re-use as multiple unit housing, with the historic auditorium and the various spaces in the addition leased to the City of Charles City for continued use by the community. Likely an historic tax credit project, the rehabilitation will follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Rehabilitation and as such the work will respect the character-defining features of the historic building in that conversion.”

Asked for his reaction, Charles City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Cox said, “If the North Grand Building is placed on the National Register, it opens up additional funding streams for repurposing.”

Floyd County is home to a other places on the register. Click here for details.

Sites on the register in Charles City include:

  • Central Park (added in 1976)
  • Brooks Round Barn (1986)
  • Cook Farm (1979)
  • Spotts Round Barn (1986)
  • Suspension Bridge (2009)
  • Dodd, A.B.C., House (1978), also known as the Thomsen House
  • Dr. Salsbury’s Laboratories, Main Office and Production Laboratory Building (1996)
  • Floyd County Courthouse (2003)
  • Charles Walter Hart House (1980)
  • Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Family Home (1995)
  • Main Street Bridge (1999)
  • Dietrich House (1978)
  • Charles Henry Parr House (1980)
  • Wildwood Park Historic District (1998)
  • Sherman Nursery Office Building (2014)

The City Council will meet at 6 p.m. tonight (May 10) in City Hall.

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