Up & Coming Weekly

April 23, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 27 of 36

APRIL 24-30, 2019 UCW 23 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Hope Mills News & Views Hope Mills Commissioner Pat Edwards doesn't understand the fascination her fellow board members have with preserving the aging parish hall that a previous board voted to demolish. At last Monday's meeting of the commissioners, the board voted to hire a structural engineer to evaluate the chances for restoring the building, part of the property donated to the town by the local Episcopal Church seven years ago. Edwards questions the interest in the building given the town's history of turning over many of its historic build- ings to private entities. She noted two prominent downtown buildings not far from the parish hall that are both cur- rently owned by private businesses. "They've given away or sold all the mills,'' Edwards said. "Why all of a sudden is this parish building so important when they let other more historical buildings go? Why spend money we don't have?" Jeff Adolphsen, a senior restoration special- ist with the North Carolina State Historical Preservation Office, recently inspected the par- ish hall. He said as buildings he's inspected go, it was in better shape than many of them — but, he added, repairs will be needed in a number of areas. Adolphsen said the building needs a new roof. There has also been water leaking down a chim- ney that was not flashed. He indicated the aluminum siding on the building could be removed. He also found termite and water damage, and added the structural integrity of the timbers in the building appeared to be decent but could be improved. He said the building likely needed to be treated for termite, fungus, mildew and mold problems, adding that the crawl space under the building appeared to be fairly dry. Many of the problems were related to the fact that mechanical systems in the building had been shut off for some time. In addition to repair- ing problems associated with age and wear, Adolphsen said if the town plans to make the building available for access by the general pub- lic, it will have to made handicapped accessible. He said that includes having parking spaces that meet certain size requirements, along with an unobstructed path to the front door and handicapped-friendly access to the building, the bathroom and other main areas. He did not inspect the bathroom regarding modifications needed for handicapped access, but he did note the door to the bathroom was narrow and would need to be widened. "As a preservationist, you try and minimize the changes or minimize the effect of the changes,'' he said. "Ninety-nine percent of what we look at is what we call rehabilitation, where you are tak- ing a historic building and you're fixing it up for modern, efficient, contemporary use, but you're keeping those features and finishes that make that building historic.'' Adolphsen did not offer any figures on the cost of restoring the building. He did say some things would require a licensed contractor. "I told them I've seen buildings like that get rehabbed before,'' he said. "I think it could be rehabilitated. They might be able to find some grants somewhere. They may be able to do some volunteer labor.'' Edwards would like to hear from town staff before spending more money on the project. "We have qualified staff that could tell us if it could be saved or not,'' she said. "It's going to cost a lot of money regardless.'' When Drew Menscer was assigned a project as an officer in the National Honor Society at Gray's Creek High School, she had loftier goals than baking a cake to sell or getting a few items together to auction. "I'm pretty athletic and I'm really into sports, so I decided to combine all of that,'' the senior member of the school's softball team said. "I wanted to give back to my commu- nity through that.'' And give back she did. Menscer, with an assist from her mother, Nena Menscer, organized a charity golf tournament at nearby Cypress Lakes Golf Course. The tournament was held on March 30 this year and drew a field of 17 teams, about 66 players. Menscer was also able to line up 22 sponsors for the tournament, with all the money they donated going to Menscer's chosen char- ity, Rick's Place. Rick's Place, accord- ing to a brief history on its Facebook page, was founded by the Rick Herrera Foundation. It's a 50-acre park in Fayetteville that features fun high-quality activi- ties for soldiers and their friends and families. Menscer's golf tour- nament raised $5,000, which she donated to Rick's Place. She said she got the word out about her tour- nament by posting fliers on social media and also sharing them with people in her neighborhood. The whole project took about six months from the time she had her initial idea for a golf tourna- ment until the tournament was held last month. Being a full-time student at Gray's Creek plus playing softball, she admitted making the whole thing happen wasn't easy. "The hardest part was trying to get everything organized,'' Menscer said. "If it wasn't for my mom, I wouldn't have been able to pull it off. It was tiring to work with my schedule, trying to pick up donations and figuring those things out. My mom had to help me a ton.'' But Menscer hinted that business acumen runs in her family. "I have a lot of entrepreneurs in my family,'' she said. "I just decided to do it.'' Menscer said she doesn't have strong ties to the military in her own family, but she was drawn to the project because of her friends with parents who are military-connected. "I know how hard it is for them,'' she said. "That's what influenced me the most.'' As for her future, Menscer plans to enroll at Elon University this fall where she's earned a scholarship to play softball. Not surprisingly, she wants to major in business. "I'm grateful for the experience,'' she said of the successful fundraiser. "We raised $5,000 for Rick's Place, which I'm really proud of. I hope they can use it.'' NEWS Gray's Creek student raises $5,000 for charity by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Parish hall debate mystifies Edwards by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Drew Menscer Pat Edwards

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