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Officials allocate SPLOST funds for Plaza

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Officials allocate SPLOST funds for Plaza

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SHANNON SNEED/Staff Exterior windows at The Plaza Arts Center are in dire need of repair so city officials and a window committee are working together to find the best replacement windows.

The Plaza Arts Center might soon get some muchneeded repairs as city officials work toward the purchase and installation of new windows.

City council already had $80,000 set aside from SPLOST 8 funds to replace the building’s aged exterior windows, and recently they allocated $225,000 from SPLOST 9 proceeds, if that referendum passes in November, to go toward other repairs.

Also, to help purchase portable lighting and other equipment, Putnam County officials has allocated $115,000 to The Plaza in SPLOST 9 funds.

“Windows have been a top priority for some time,” City Manager Gary Sanders said at a buildings, streets and grounds committee last May.

Working with a committee to find replacements that would fit with the building’s historical architecture, Sanders noted that the intent is also to look for a durable replacement.

Eatonton Public Works Director Joe Hawkins recommended waiting to replace the upper windows advising the roof would need patching where those are replaced.

“Do the windows when you do the roof,” Hawkins said, “or you will compromise the sill.”

City Council Member Teresa Doster said the former schoolhouse is an old building so contractors would need to measure the windows.

Hawkins said the windows could be custom fit and weather-sealed so they shouldn’t have to be re-sealed.

Another concern of the Plaza Board is the cornice around the facility, where board members said squirrels were getting in and eating the wires on the projection equipment.

Hawkins said the current decorative trim was made of wood and recommended replacing it with composite, which he estimated at about $200,000.

In a letter to city officials requesting funds to help with structural renovations, The Plaza Arts Center Board of Directors said that $225,000 would not cover all the work necessary to repair the building so the board would be raising and requesting funds from both city and county SPLOST, along with private donations and grant funding.