Local News

June 11, 2014

Repairs at Emery Center mandatory in order to meet compliance, remain open

If the Emery Center is to remain open at its current location, the sprinkler system and fire alarm must be brought into compliance with state codes by Aug. 1, 2015, center and city of Dalton officials recently agreed.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units must also be replaced and put on a structurally sound roof by that date, according to the agreement. Only the flat part of the center’s roof will have to be repaired, not the portion with shingles.

“The other things, outside and all that, we can do later,” said Curtis Rivers, the center’s director. “We’ll run some estimates and see what people will charge to do those things and go from there.”

The center, a nonprofit multicultural heritage center, is housed in the Emery Street School building that opened in 1924. The school served as the only black school in the community until desegregation. The building is owned by the city, and a 20-year lease agreement between the city and the center states that repairs must be made by the center.

Though officials originally thought the repairs would cost approximately $80,000, a newer estimate from an architect quoted $455,000.

Ideas other than repairs have been discussed, including possibly moving the Emery Center’s memorabilia and displays to Dalton High School, but no one associated with the center wants to see that happen. They remain focused on the effort to save the former school building.

The way to do that, Rivers says, is to approach the much-needed repairs in stages.

The first step is addressing concerns listed as the top three priorities by the county building inspector’s office and the city’s fire marshal — the sprinklers, the fire alarm system and HVAC/roof repairs.

“Everyone agreed to these terms,” said Ty Ross, city of Dalton administrator. “They (Emery Center officials) didn’t want to feel rushed or hurried and wanted to use it in their ongoing fundraising campaign. We provided them with a very reasonable time frame to work with. Hopefully they will make other improvements before this date.”

Ross said since the center’s officials made it clear they intend to stay in the current building, city officials had to “pin down ... this is what you have to do to stay in the building.”

Ross said it is in “everybody’s interest” that the work is started soon. The center operates as a museum, and hosts families and schoolchildren on field trips.

Rivers did not know when the work will begin because center officials are still collecting estimates.

The center continues to raise funds for not just the immediate repairs, but those needing to be made long term, such as new paneling, repairing steps, repairing deteriorating bricks and plumping repairs. Other repairs will also have to be made to make the building more accessible, such as installing a lift.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014

  • Beaulieu to close operations for one week for inventory

    Floorcovering giant Beaulieu of America will conduct a physical inventory of its buildings and facilities next week, with only salaried employees reporting for work.

    July 30, 2014

  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014