NEWLAND — The Avery County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on Thursday, March 12, to award the bid to build the new community building next to the Agricultural Extension Office to Garanco, Inc.

In order to proceed with the capital project, the board of commissioners transferred $350,000 from the general fund and allocated it to the project’s fund balance for a total fund of $1,550,000.

The increase from the original amount of $1,200,000 is due to increases in general construction and furniture costs, as the BOC came to agreements with Boomerang Design and Audio and Video Enterprises.

“Everything that this board has done, we have tried to do it right,” Commissioner Wood Hall (Woodie) Young Jr. said. “We try to do our best to be good stewards of the county’s money. [The building] is not elaborate. There’s not a whole lot of bells and whistles, but it’s going to be beautiful. It is going to be nice, and I think we didn’t pull back anything from the school system with what they wanted done on the high school.”

Much of the discussion during the meeting centered around the sound system that will be installed in the new building, which will be predominantly used for meetings and trade shows, such as that of the Christmas Tree Association.

The project is expected to break ground by April 1, barring any setbacks caused by the COVID 19 or coronavirus outbreak. According to county officials, the building will hold a capacity of 200 to 280 people and include an indoor and outdoor stage. The building is expected to be completed by August in time for the county fair.

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