CLOVER -- Clover's getting a community center.
Clover Town Council agreed Monday to buy the old post office building at 120 Bethel St. to use as the recreation department's administrative office, community building, council chambers, court and committee room.
They'll pay $425,000, but of that, $175,000 of will be a gift from the property owners, Jackson Concepts, LLC, and another $100,000 will come from a grant the recreation department received from the Competitive Community Grants Committee to build a community building.
"For the last 18 months, we've tried to get some competitive prices in for a community building at the park," said Town Administrator Allison Harvey. "No matter which way we went, it was not going to be a building that this town or this council would have been happy with in the long run."
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The post office moved several years ago and a number of different companies have since leased it for commercial use.
The 5,000-square foot building has an appraised value of $210,800.
Although the town is paying more than the appraised price, Harvey said the market value of the building is higher than the $250,000 that will come from the town's coffers.
Town officials hope it will be ready for use by this fall.
A few renovations are needed first, including fixing the roof, settling of the foundation in one area and repairing the parking area. The heating and cooling system also may need to be upgraded.
Even with the cost these repairs, Harvey said the building should be cheaper than constructing a new building.
"We come out at about $50 a square foot," she said. "The only thing I could probably buy for that is a big metal building, and that's not what we wanted to have."
A new community center was one of the projects listed in the Capital Improvement Plan for 2008 to 2012. The town approved the plan late last year, when cost was estimated at $300,000.
The recreation department has needed a new building for a while. Currently, its administrative and maintenance offices are housed in the tower at the Clover Community Park.
"The office layout in a rounded tower is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination," Harvey said.
Parents have to climb the stairs to the second floor tower to register their children for sports.
"One of the pluses (of the new building), I think, is it's a great location," said Greg Holmes, recreation director. "It will be a lot easier for people to actually find."
The recreation department is currently leasing another building to hold karate classes in. Once the community center opens, those classes can be held in it, as well as some of the activities for seniors, Holmes said.
"Everybody doesn't play sports, but right now we don't have a facility to house anything like that," Holmes said.
The new building will be just two doors down from Town Hall and also will be ideal for holding town meetings, Harvey said. Currently most meetings are held in the Larne Building or at the school district office.