By Blenda Copeland
The City of Phenix City will shut down the Central Activity Center during the summer as around $1 million of air conditioning work is done.
The building’s obsolete system will be re-designed and installed. The work could take around three months if the building’s vacant. Otherwise, if workers worked around the center’s various activities and functions, the repairs could take up to six months (and therefore cost the city more money).
The building is expected to be shut down in June for the repair work.
During that time, the city anticipates moving already-booked events to other venues within the city, such as Martin-Idle Hour Park’s Max Wilkes Fellowship Hall, for example.
During work session discussion, the council also decided to swap locations for an upcoming city council meeting that was initially intended to be at the center in June. The council decided to hold its second meeting in June at the 5th Street South Youth Center instead.
The center’s summer shutdown to the public also may affect its status as a voting precinct for the August 28 referendum in which Phenix City voters will vote whether they want the right to elect their city school board members – or continue having an appointed school board.
More information is expected to come once the city gets approval from the Secretary of State to move the voting precinct if necessary.
It’s unclear at this point for sure whether the center will still serve as a voting precinct for the June 5 primaries, although from discussion at the city’s work session Monday, it appears there may be no change for the primary election. More information is expected soon.
As for the impact of closing one of the city’s most heavily used venues, City Manager Wallace Hunter said, “It’s unfortunate, but it’s part of the process.”
At the city council meeting Tuesday, the public was asked to be patient and understanding. Anyone with questions about the shutdown may call Parks and Recreation Director Todd Hughes at (334) 291-4704.