The new Town Hall building on Buffalo Road in Archer Lodge is open for service and is where all town council meetings will take place.
ARCHER LODGE -- After months of construction, Town Hall quietly opened last month ready to serve the needs of the public.
Small amounts of construction dust loom in the air and there’s still a little bit of construction debris scattered about, but town clerk Jean Overton is greeting residents with a smile and tackling projects large and small to get the new facility up and running.
Overton was hired in Sept. 2010 as the town’s first and only employee and for two years has conducted official business out of her home. Each month, Overton would box up documents and attend council meetings at the Archer Lodge Community Center, the town’s temporary home.
But the week before Christmas she happily moved her records to a new office on Buffalo Road.
“I was traveling with all my files,” said Overton. “Working out of my home was nice but traveling without files will be welcomed. All I have to do now is walk them from my office to the council chambers.”
Last April town officials and community members helped break ground for the one-story town hall on a four-acre tract purchased for $250,000 in December 2010. The 2,480-square-foot building features three offices, including space for Overton and Mayor Mike Gordon, a conference room, kitchen, public restrooms and council chambers.
At the Jan. 14 town council meeting, gone were the folding chairs and plastic tables officials and spectators were used to from previous meetings held at the community center. A wooden dais, podium and comfortable seating filled the room. The new chambers are outfitted with modern technology including iPads for every council member, a flat screen television and wiring for recording meetings for East Wake Television.
Although an official grand opening won’t be held until the spring, residents have already found that the office is open for business. Overton says she’s seen a surprising amount of foot traffic over the last few weeks.
“It’s been busy,” she said. “People do come in and have questions about our services and what the town handles. I knew once we got an actual facility people would come in with questions. I’ve even had a small number of people who just stopped by out of curiosity and wanted to see the inside of the building.”
Over the next few weeks the building will receive finishing touches. Councilman Jeff Barnes has been overseeing the project since the beginning and noted additional exterior lighting is still needed. Walls are bare but will soon be filled with formal photographs of council members and a plaque dedicating the building. Overton is receiving furniture and supplies on a daily basis and promises within a month’s time the interior will be fully decorated.
“This is the beginning of a new town,” she said. “Getting to be on the front end of that and watching it grow is exciting. We’ve gotten a really good facility and it’s one to be proud of.”
The Archer Lodge Town Hall is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The building will be closed for an hour at lunch.