WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Concerned citizens who spoke out at a Tuesday morning meeting about a proposed museum have led the City of Washington to determine a new site needs to be considered.
After hearing concerns from senior citizens about a proposed museum on the second floor of the Peterson Building, also known as the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center, Washington’s city manager said they will now be looking for a new location.
“I think we’ll continue to look for other potential museum spaces, looking at re-purposing something downtown or building something new at some other location,” City of Washington Manager Jonathan Russell said after Tuesday morning’s meeting. “There was general consensus, they want to see a museum that would be beneficial, but they want to continue senior services.”
Members of the Washington City Council and some city leaders met with the concerned citizens. Some people in Washington were worried the city may take away part of their senior center for a museum. City officials say that’s not the case.
Many senior citizens gathered on Tuesday to voice their concerns as well as explain more about why this center is so important to them. City leaders answered questions and tried to put some misconceptions to rest.
City officials said this all started about a year ago when they met with various groups about creating a potential history museum. That’s when they started looking at places they could archive different artifacts.
Officials said they considered using part of the second floor at the senior center to house these pieces, but that it wouldn’t take away from any of their activities. The seniors said they don’t want to lose any services or parking at the center if something like this were to be put in the building.
After hearing the concerns, that’s when Russell said an alternative may be needed and that the senior center may not be the best place.
“I am confident that when it comes time to vote in August, they’ll vote down the bids they’ve received so that’s really exciting,” said Gail Breed, a Washington resident.
As for what’s next, Russell said they will put an agenda item about this during their August 7 meeting. That will be just to clarify that they will look at other spaces for a museum.