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City approves demolition of old Women's Club building -- for the second time

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Monday night, the city commission approved the demolition of the old Women's Club building, seen here, that sits on the edge of Emma Ward Park. Robert Preston Jr./DouglasNow.com Monday night, the city commission approved the demolition of the old Women's Club building, seen here, that sits on the edge of Emma Ward Park.

At Monday’s regular city commission meeting, commissioners voted to demolish the old Douglas Women’s Club building, which sits on the edge of Emma Ward Park, for the second time this year.



At the June 12 commission meeting, commissioners allowed the city to take over ownership of the building with the understanding that it would be torn down. On August 24, 2023, the Historic Preservation Commission denied the city’s request to demolish the building. City staff then appealed the decision to the city commission.



According to city staff, the building, which is 106 years old, has been condemned by the building inspector. Documents from the meeting state that “the structure is unsound, has cracks in the foundation, poor floors with buckling foundations with storm drain water flowing through the building, and rotten roof and eves. The building currently sits over a wet area that has cypress knots growing beneath the floor.”



The recommendation from staff was to deny the Historic Preservation Commission’s vote and move forward with demolishing the building. The commission approved the request unanimously.



Commissioners also awarded Lancore Engineering PC the engineering services for the improvement projects at Roundtree Park and the Huckaby Complex. These projects are part of the INODIC Grant. Last week, the county awarded Lancore the engineering services for the soccer field improvements project, which is also a part of the INODIC Grant.



The commission also approved the following items:



  • The re-appointment of Edward Coleman and Jason Fuller to the Airport Commission and the appointment of one new member, Koby McClelland



  • Waiving the $500 per day alcoholic beverage special event fee for Paulk Vineyards at the upcoming Gopher Tortoise Festival



  • Road closures for the Gopher Tortoise Festival — portions of Bryan Street and Pearl Avenue — from Friday, October 6 to the end of the festival



  • Closing a portion of Coweta Avenue directly behind First Baptist Church from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 13
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