Cabarrus Commissioners notebook: March 2022

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – From Cabarrus County: The Courthouse Art Selection Committee is now tasked with selecting the artist whose work will be suspended in the lobby of the new Cabarrus Courthouse in downtown Concord.

Interviews with each of three finalists will take place at the end of March. The three were chosen from a field of 77 initial applicants, Cabarrus County Area Manager Kyle Bilafer told commissioners during a March 7 agenda meeting.

The project Request for Qualifications (RFQ) calls for “an artist or artist team who can understand and express, in a suspended, permanently-installed, large-scale piece, the Courthouse’s role in providing sound and fair justice.” The lobby provides “high windows (to) afford views of the artwork from outside the building on three sides …”

The art should be “… iconic, while also demonstrating keen sensitivity to the varied contexts of experiences in which those who encounter it could be immersed,” the RFQ said.

Bilafer told commissioners that he hoped the committee would name the winner shortly after the interviews.

Courthouse building construction is continuing, and crews recently installed heating and air components, connected the water system with the old building and prepped for temporary elevator use, Bilafer said. Over the next 30 days, cooling and dehumidification will be added, allowing for work on the interior facades. Also, the yellow-ish tint of the building (that’s insulation, Bilafer said) will soon be covered over.

Also during the meeting, Commissioners:

  • Heard from Active Living and Parks Director Londa Strong about a $500,000 Park and Recreation Trust Fund (PATRF) grant for the Mt. Pleasant Park project. Strong said that if awarded, the grant would help with funding for athletic fields, trails and a playground. The grant would require a County match, which is already in the budget, Strong said. The County recently held public input sessions to determine the top needs for the park. Community members can view plans for Phase One at a drop-in meeting on March 28, from 4-6 p.m. at the Cabarrus County Senior Center in Mt. Pleasant (8615 Park Drive, Mt. Pleasant). Participants will see plans for the initial phase and learn how the PATRF grant funds could enhance the site. Project construction is expected to begin in 2023 and continue through 2024.
  • Heard from Deputy County Manager Rodney Harris about the public-private partnership for the planned Library and Senior Center facility in the Afton Ridge area. The project’s Request for Qualifications was originally posted on February 8, and “one responsive proposal was received from CK Lakepointe Corporate Center (Childress Klein). Through a partnership with Childress Klein, a 40,000-square-foot building will be constructed and leased to the County,” according to the agenda. Harris added that the County’s intention is to purchase the facility within the first two years. A public hearing is set for March 21, followed by a vote on pursuing a contract with Childress Klein. The project is a long-time coming, Board Chairman Steve Morris said during a recent meeting. “There are a lot of years of work by staff and discussion by this board that leads up to being able to successfully execute a project like this,” Morris said. “I’m particularly enthusiastic about it because it accomplishes what I think is a worthy goal of trying get our services out closer to where people live.”
  • Approved a budget amendment to allow for an Adapting Technology grant through the State Library of NC. The $39,180 grant will be used to purchase new staff mobile computer stations to allow for more comprehensive customer service, according to Library Director Emery Ortiz.

In addition to the public-private partnership for the Senior Center/Library, other public hearings include:

  • Debt refinancing of Limited Obligation Bonds
  • Installment financing contract for various school and County projects
  • Fire district boundary modifications, which will improve response times in unincorporated areas of southern Cabarrus. The plan impacts about 1,500 homes between Harrisburg and Midland.

The regular meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Monday (March 21) at the Government Center in downtown Concord.

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