2009-06-03 / Front Page

Old buildings get new life

By Anne Marie Kyzer annemariek@thetruecitizen.com

O ld buildings in Burke County are finding new purpose thanks to funds from the special local option

County officials expect the old jail to be completed by this fall, when it will be used for county archives and genealogical records. County officials expect the old jail to be completed by this fall, when it will be used for county archives and genealogical records. sales tax (SPLOST). The City of Midville used

SPLOST funds to renovate its historical community house, which had fallen into disrepair in recent years. Though city officials are not sure of the building's age, the two story brick structure dates back to at least the early 1900s. It was originally a schoolhouse, then housed city hall and was later used as a gathering place. Midville Mayor Butch Brinson recalls fond memories of attending dances there as a child and having his birthday party there when he turned 5 years old. He was proud to see it return to its former glory when city council devoted about $90,000 towards restoration. Now the building is a source of revenue for the city and has been used for wedding receptions, family gatherings and other events.

"It's something the community can be proud of now," Brinson said. "I can remember it being like this when I was a teenager."

Mayor Butch Brinson, below, looks around at peeling paint and missing tiles in the drop ceiling at the Midville community house before it was renovated last year. Now, the century-old building, above, with its exposed beams and polished hardwood floors, is used for wedding receptions, family gatherings and more. Mayor Butch Brinson, below, looks around at peeling paint and missing tiles in the drop ceiling at the Midville community house before it was renovated last year. Now, the century-old building, above, with its exposed beams and polished hardwood floors, is used for wedding receptions, family gatherings and more. Meanwhile, the county is renovating an old brick building of its own. Restoration efforts at the former Burke County Jail, best known as the "Old Jail," are expected to be complete by the end of the summer. The two-story building located on Old Herndon Road was built in 1939 and left vacant in 1990 when the new Sheriff's office and jail were constructed on Highway 24 South. When work is complete on the $600,000 makeover, the old jail will be used for county archives, storing historical documents as well as genealogical records. While around $550,000 in SPLOST funds will go towards the project, the remaining costs will be covered by private donations.

Return to top