House of Flags renovation plans approved; event kicks off raffle

Published 3:47 pm Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The House of Flags won approval of its Phase 1 renovation project at the former Columbus fire house Monday and work could begin within a month.
The Polk County Board of Commissioners, which owns the building in downtown Columbus, gave approval to the House of Flags to begin phase 1 of the project, revised its lease with the House of Flags and agreed to relocate county equipment and the N.C. Forest Service office from the building as soon as possible.
Commissioners heard Robert Williamson, chairman of the House of Flags Board of Directors, describe the renovation plans.
Phase 1 will include removing the second floor over the northerly two fire truck bays, reinforcing the exterior wall, constructing a new stairwell, adding a restroom, repairing a deteriorating wall, and installing new electrical and HVAC equipment as well as a flag pole and an entrance ramp.
Following phase one, which should take a couple of months, the House of Flags can move from its current location at Green Creek Family Life Center to the newly remodeled building, Williamson reported.
Phase 2 will include constructing a lobby entrance, entry sidewalks, landscaping and finishing two second story rooms for a library, flag archives, a board room and storage area.
Phase 3 will include paving an alley, installing curb, guttering and sidewalks and paving a parking lot.
Williamson said the timing could not be better as recent rain continues to cause flooding in the former Green Creek School gymnasium where the museum is currently located.
Williamson also announced the kickoff of a fundraising event that was held yesterday to raffle a 2010 Harley Davidson motorcycle. The drawing will be held on June 14, with a goal of selling 2,000 raffle tickets.
Williamson said the House of Flags has had 312 benefactors with 27 of those contributing $1,000 or more to the project.
The next steps will be to sign an agreement with a contractor and prepare a list of materials.
The House of Flags is the only flag museum in the country and was founded by the late George Scofield.
Commissioner Tommy Melton said Monday that he remembers meeting Scofield about nine years ago and thinking, “you just cant stop him.” Melton said he remembers riding by the House of Flags one day when it was “180 degrees in the shade” and who was sitting there waiting for someone to come tour the museum? Scofield.
“I wish he were here today to see it,” said Melton.

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