ROGERSVILLE — The Rogersville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted on Tuesday to hire the Nashville architectural firm of Pfeffer and Torode to design a new recreational building proposed for the three-acre Main Street shopping center that the city purchased earlier this year.
Pfeffer and Torode was recommended by a committee that was comprised of Aldermen Brian Hartness and Sonda Price, City Attorney Bill Phillips and City Recorder Glenn Hutchens.
Phillps told the BMA the committee reviewed resumes from five firms, interviewed four, and then narrowed it down to two finalists before arriving at its final recommendation.
“We’re talking about perhaps a recreational building, indoor basketball courts, indoor swimming pool, a community meeting area — a number of things,” Phillips said. “The final two had excellent conceptual ideas on what could go up there. It was a hard decision.”
In March, the BMA voted 5-0 to buy the three-acre shopping center complex at 921 E. Main St. for $625,000. The site is adjacent to the old Blue Spring House property and 1.5-acre lot that the BMA bought for $75,000 in 2016 for use as an expansion of the City Park.
The shopping center’s anchor store, United Grocery, has been closed for more than a year, and another storefront, The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, was recently bought out by Walgreens and is also vacant.
The only current tenant in the shopping center is a Subway restaurant whose lease will have expired by the time the city is ready to begin construction on the new facility.
“They (Pfeffer and Torode) will bring to the board architectural concepts for what can be built up there, and how much it will cost,” Phillips told the board. “But, before we can start that project we’ve got to have an architectural firm in place to start the design process.”
In other business on Tuesday, the BMA granted a request from the Hawkins County Republican Party to reserve the public area at Town Square for a post-election celebration event on Friday, Nov. 6, from 4-8 p.m.
“This is all pending if we win the election,” said Alderman Eloise Edwards, who presented the request to the board. “We’re not asking for any streets blocked off. It’s just for a little celebration, hot dogs to eat, and that’s about it.”
Phillips presented to the BMA a request from the state for a renewal to the agreement approved in 2012 for a local walking trail between Route 66 and the City Park to utilize state right of way. The agreement isn’t due until February, and the board asked Phillips to research the agreement and return to the board with a recommendation at a later meeting.
The BMA also approved the first reading of an ordinance that makes the building inspector, a position currently held by Steve Nelson, the enforcing officer of the city housing code.