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Moving in at Whiteville City Hall

By Diana Matthews, The News Reporter

The long-anticipated move into a new Whiteville City Hall has been “a very smooth transition,” said Mayor Terry Mann. After more than a year and a half at Hill Plaza, “The employees are tickled to death with the new facility.”

When city workers lowered the flag from the historic Whitley Building for the last time in November 2017, they took it to the city government’s interim headquarters. It returned to 317 S. Madison St. for the new City Hall’s grand opening Wednesday, July 17, then was retired from use. 

 
Flags were flying at half staff in mourning for retired Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, who died July 16.

Flags were flying at half staff in mourning for retired Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, who died July 16.

 

When the formal festivities were over, the work of settling in began. A week later, Whiteville Finance Director Colburn Brown compared it to “moving into a big house. You have the same challenges and surprises as with any residential move, but on a much larger scale.” 

Staff members grappled with necessary hardware and logistics issues and were ready for their real working opening Monday, July 22. 

The first citizen through the doorway shortly after 8:30 that morning was business owner Walter Munroe, checking on a permit needed for renovations at the Jefferson Street building that formerly housed his father’s medical office.

Overall, City Hall employees were “delighted with the building,” Brown said. A feature that has received an enthusiastic reception in every department is the adjustable sit-stand desks that allow office workers to alternate postures throughout the day. “I use mine quite a lot,” said Brown.  

Landscaping around the entrance shows attention to detail, and plans are underway for a collection of historical artifacts, including the retired flag, on one wall of the front lobby area. The Columbus County Arts Council is also selecting art works that will bring “a real Whiteville flair” to the space, Brown said. 

“We hope the taxpayers enjoy their new City Hall and will feel proud of it,” Brown said. “Every time I set foot in there, I feel the longevity of the building. I think it’s going to serve us for a very long time.”

Stuart Rogers