Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenzie said Monday that he continues to wait on a schedule from the contractor assigned to tear down the structure known as the Armintrout building on Gov. Trimble Place in uptown Hillsboro.
In the meantime, work has halted on the westbound lane of the street, which is set to be paved and landscaped into a “green space” after the Armintrout building is torn down, McKenzie said.
Once the Armintrout building is down, crews will install new sidewalks, curbs, pavers, street lights, landscaping and other amenities along Trimble, according to Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins.
McKenzie said last week that crews are holding off on replacing sidewalks so no damage is done to new concrete during the building demolition.
Mayor Drew Hastings has said a parking lot for tenants, including The Times-Gazette, will replace the Armintrout building, which he said is blighted and beyond repair.
McKenzie said he isn’t worried about wasting good weather while waiting on the demolition.
“Summer has just started and it won’t take a week to do it once we get on it,” he said Monday.
Workers last week installed a decorative clock and new sidewalk in front of the old firehouse at the corner of Trimble and North High Street.
As previously reported, the Trimble project – utilizing $78,000 in funds gifted to the city in 2013 by the William C. Mason Charitable Remainder Unitrust — will include freeing up parking on the south side of Trimble, much of which is now designated for county employees who work in the courthouse. McKenzie said reserved parking for those individuals, including judges and the county prosecutor, will be relocated to the west side of the courthouse.
McKenzie said the decision to reconfigure Trimble makes sense in connection with his belief that the old fire station at the corner of Trimble and North High will soon end up in the possession of the city as part of a deal with the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire Station for Paint Creek to purchase the new fire station on North East Street, which the fire district is occupying under a lease agreement.
McKenzie said the old fire station can be used as a much-needed meeting space for council committees, the planning commission and others. Those meetings are now being held in a small conference room at the city building or the municipal courtroom at the Highland County Justice Center, when those arrangements can be made. He said the city needs a facility for such meetings that is handicap accessible and large enough to accommodate members of the public. He said the city could also lease the building to various groups and organizations for events.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.