W - Conrad Day care pixThe Newberry City Commission has approved up to $10,000 for repairs to bring the former Newberry daycare center up to code.

NEWBERRY – The fate of a building located in East Park, which was formerly used as a school cafeteria, is in the hands of the Newberry City Commission. For the last 30 years the building had been used as a daycare center, and over the past year it sat vacant.

The Citizens Advisory Board turned the building, which is located out front the ball fields off Newberry Lane, over to the city to decide its future, said Lewis King, advisory chairperson. One idea is to rent it out for citizen functions and activities, such as family reunions.

“We’ve had about 14 families that I know of that has been interested in renting the building,” Lewis said.

“But it wasn’t up to code.”

The commission agreed on April 22 to put up some $10,000 for repairs to bring the electricity and plumbing up to code and the parking accessibility up to ADA standards.

King believes the park’s building opens up another avenue for renters because at this point, the municipal building is the only building citizens can use, so it’s always booked up.

In addition to the electrical and plumbing upgrades in the first phase of repairs, there will be updates to the fire suppression system connected to the stove in the kitchen, which should be about $3,000, King said.

The second phase of repairs includes changing out some commodes and putting in a new floor and more lighting.

“A couple of months, and we should be up and running,” King said.

The initial money is a “starter amount with the idea that more money would be forthcoming when we got the 2014 budget to do even more things in there,” said Mayor Bill Conrad, referring to events such as parties and wedding receptions.

“There are other renovations that need to be made to the building,” said Commissioner Alena Lawson.

“That’s the plan: to try to generate some revenue so we can continue to upgrade it.”

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