Carter Bank building a pricey remodel for Siler City


SILER CITY — The Siler City Board of Commissioners met on Feb. 5, receiving a report from Hobbs Architecture about the condition of the Carter Bank & Trust building that the city acquired last year.

The report was not a positive one, with the building meant to be used as office and administrative space as the city government continues to grow.

“It worked well as a bank,” Taylor Hobbs, co-founder of Hobbs Architects, told the board. “Maybe not so much as an office building.” Adapting the facility for the city’s needs will involve considerable remodeling and updating.

“The cashiers desk would be removed,” Hobbs said “The current restrooms are not ADA accessible, so those would be renovated.” Additionally, an air quality report suggested the presence of asbestos and other pathogens within the building.

“I’d hate to keep spending money on a building that we may or may not use,” said Mayor Donald Matthews, expressing concern the amount of work needed to make the facility usable. The acquisition of the building predates his election last year.

The board was told it would likely cost more than $600,000 to address the asbestos and air quality concerns, and to make the building usable for administrative work. Commissioners punted on making any immediate decisions, planning to consider the situation in more detail during an upcoming budget workshop.

A minor zoning change was approved to allow the continued construction of a new Duke Energy facility that would, among other things, assist in returning power after natural disasters as well as to support additional development in the area.

A Duke Energy subcontractor assured the commissioners that any vegetation used as a buffer for the development “would be the responsibility of Duke Energy” and should there be a need for new trees or a shrubbery and it “wouldn't be a burden on Siler City.”