GOP breaks ground on new headquarters

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Polk Republican Party held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new headquarters building on Tuesday, Sept. 27. First row front: Polk County Register of Deeds Sheila Whitmire; Scott Woodworth, Republican headquarters second vice-chair and building chair; first vice-chair Annette Sepulveda; chair Debbie Arceneaux; Polk County Commissioner Ted Owens; building committee member Robbie Pack; treasurer Todd Hatfield and secretary Duncan Chapman (sitting). Back row from left: general contractor Myron Yoder; Cato Junge of Tile Specialties; contractor Jim Yoder; contractor Henry Bontrager and executive committee member Chris Hatfield. (photo by Leah Justice)

The Polk County Republican Party broke ground yesterday, Sept. 27, on what will be the party’s new headquarters in Columbus.
Republican officials and contractors attended the event, along with members of the public.
The general contractor is Myron Yoder of Green Creek, who said 99 percent of the work on the site will be done by local residents.
Construction on the new building began this week, with the steel scheduled to be delivered on Oct. 7.
Polk Republican Party Chair Debbie Arceneaux said construction of the building will take three months, weather permitting.
Republicans also attended Columbus Town Council’s meeting on Sept. 15 to discuss creating a fire lane to the left side of the new building to discourage parking on an easement for service, emergency and town vehicles.
The town and Republican officials agreed to look into how to create a fire lane and if that is a viable option for the area.
This is the second time in recent months GOP officials have approached the town asking for assistance in controlling parking in the area of the easement.
Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield said the town will check with the fire department and building inspections office to ensure it is a legal fire lane. Most fire lanes in town are privately owned.
Beddingfield has said previously the police department will respond to any disturbance on the property just as it does for any other property in the city.
The new building will be located on Peake Street in Columbus where the former GOP headquarters was torn down. The roof of the former building collapsed in December 2009, and the building was demolished last year.
The new building will be located on the same lot, but shifted to the right and front to allow for parking in the rear. Emergency, garbage and supply vehicles will enter the area to the left of the building instead of from the right side as they did before.
There has been controversy for years between local businesses and the Republican party about the easement, as well as public parking issues on the lot.
Republican officials met with local businesses earlier this year to discuss the new building location, in what seemed to be a breakthrough in communications between party officials and businesses.
Yesterday’s ground-breaking participants enjoyed pizza from the nearby Brick Pizzeria.
The Polk Republican Party’s slogan for the new building is “A New Beginning.”
The fire lane issue will be discussed further during council’s Oct. 20 meeting.

Architect’s drawing of the planned new Republican headquarters in Columbus.

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