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February 11, 2013
Oriental’s Town Hall has reopened. Since flooding in 2011’s Hurricane Irene, the structure has undergone major renovations. Those works are drawing to a close. On Saturday, from noon to 2p, citizens were invited to tour the building during its grand re-opening.
Visitors mingle in the re-opened Town Hall’s main meeting room.Town Hall from Church StreetThe Pamlico County Community Band Brass Ensemble performs. Playing are Dave Falardeau, Gordon Kelley, Chris Mele, Keith Zwart and Becky Ackiss. They entertained visitors with the National Anthem and other patriotic selections.
The public opening was marked flags with music, flags, refreshments and balloons. And people. Plenty of people. Town Manager Bob Maxbauer says he was, “amazed – thrilled – at the large turnout,” saying it was, “a good chance for everyone to tour the new facilities.”
Before it was renovated, the Town Hall was a mix of office space and parking bays. The bays were originally home to the Southeast Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department’s trucks. When the fire station was moved to its new location on the outskirts of town, the covered bays were used for town hall storage. They have been incorporated into the new structure.
Speaking from the Town Hall’s new meeting room, in the area which once housed fire trucks, Mayor Bill Sage said, “it’s hard to imagine these 4 walls we’re standing in as the old building.” He said he is, “absolutely amazed by the dramatic transformation.”The view from the meeting room dais. The raised platform seats the mayor and town board during public meetings.Photo of the renovations projected onto the meeting room wall.Oriental town manager Bob Maxbauer and mayor Bill Sage speaking with visitors
Where the old Town Hall’s roof terminated in a short eave facing Broad Street, the new one extends to cover a passage-way. “I want to think of it as Oriental’s front porch,” said commissioner Larry Summers.
Barbara Walker said the new building is “wonderful, very innovative”. She feels the renovated building will be, “a nice thing to offer the town.”
While the noon to 2p open house was open to the general public, there was a VIP event at 11a. Guest speakers at the invitation-only affair were North Carolina Senator Norman Sanderson and NC House Representative Michael Speciale.