EDITORIAL: Town Hall Design Could Use Tweaking
The Southern Pines Town Council did the right thing last week when it decided to go back to the drawing board on the architectural and exterior designs for a new town hall and police station.
The council asked residents to tell it just what they think about how the new 30,000-square-foot facility should look -- and a few did.
Most of the 23 folks who dropped by the Douglass Community Center on Pennsylvania Avenue on Dec. 4 didn't like any of the three choices presented. The municipal complex will be built on the site of the recently razed 8,000-square-foot facility at East New York Avenue and South East Broad Street downtown.
Given the three choices, a majority said Option A appeared to be the best -- or least bad. But most didn't like any of them. Some felt that the designs would not be in harmony with the surrounding residential area or the look of the historic downtown.
It was a bit disappointing that so few residents came out. The council, staff and architects hired by the town were available from noon to 6 p.m., giving everyone an ample opportunity to come by and take a gander at the designs, which included some pretty amazing computer-generated imagery to show what the facility would look like if approached from different angles.
Give the council credit for listening to those who did care enough to show up. Behaving like an enlightened government, the council asked for input and it got just that. This is, after all, a community building and will be located downtown. The town wants the public to like it.
While option A seemed well designed and would look OK downtown, perhaps the plan could stand some tweaking, such as incorporating a dormer effect to give the two-story building more of the appearance of a single-story building. That might help the facility blend in better with the scale of the rest of the area.
Whatever results from the process, the town needs to take its time and come up with a municipal complex we all can be proud of.
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