Four years since the purchase of the 6-acre campus, the town has labored over moving to its new headquarters
“Call some-damn-body to come replace the damn broken windows, fix the damn doors, put the damn carpet in and let’s get it done.”
That’s what Pierson Vice Mayor Robert F. Greenlund told his fellow Town Council members March 14 during the latest workshop about the town’s move from its current Town Hall — which it shares with Surety Bank at 106 N. Center St. — to the expansive campus that will be Pierson’s Town Center.
The latest plan, approved by the Town Council March 14, is to set aside a $25,000 budget to expedite moving at least the town’s administrative duties over to its new home. Eventually the town plans for more expansive use of the space, like offering a base for other organizations.
The town purchased the former Pierson Elementary School, a 6-acre plot with 16 buildings, including a roughly 6,000-square-foot main building, for $74,000 in 2019. Since then, the Town Council has labored over moving to the complex, and the town has sunk an additional roughly $250,000 in repairs and utility fees in the property.
That’s why the March 14 workshop was focused on how to get the area that will serve as the town’s new administrative office spruced up so the town can move over as soon as possible.
In Greenlund’s words, “What all do we need over there so we can start working over there?”
The main necessities the Town Council identified are:
- Replacing the carpets,
- Fixing windows and replacing the blinds,
- Painting the walls and trims,
- Repairing the bathroom that will be in the town’s new break room,
- And installing automatic door openers and other ADA-required installations.
At the March 14 regular Town Council meeting, the town’s elected officials considered other factors, too. Vandalism caused by a group of teenagers last September left the town with an insurance payout of around $23,000. Damage done to the building, including broken windows, affected the area where Volusia County plans to move the Pierson branch of the public library.
While it has been discussed for years, the town finally signed a lease with the county March 14, and the library is expected to move to the new Town Center as early as June, per the lease agreement.
The town also has an eager town population looking to host more gatherings at the new Town Center, too. The Pierson Citizens Community Group hosted a Christmas event at the Town Center’s outdoor garden last year — complete with Mayor Samuel G.S. Bennett as Santa Claus — and the group plans to host more events at the center in the future.
We don’t need to turn Pierson into little Mexico. When you enter Pierson you see the results of the Mexican influence. The ruin, the run down businesses, and even the refurbished? Town center. You can control taxes, without making the town look like a ghetto.