The Outer Banks Voice – Manteo paves way for new county youth center

Manteo Paves the Way for New County Youth Center

By Michelle Wagner | Outer Banks Voice on August 11, 2022

Construction of the facility is expected to cost $1.7M

Anticipating a request from Dare County to build a new 4,000 square foot youth center on the former site of Masonic Lodge on US 64, the Manteo Planning Board on August 9 approved an amendment to the zoning enactment that adds youth centers to a list of special use permits approved by commissioners.

Construction of the proposed youth center, which would involve razing the existing Masonic Lodge built in 1970 and erecting a new facility, is estimated at $1.7 million. The site, purchased by Dare County in 2021, is located along the freeway between Agona and Fernando streets and is designed to meet the growing needs of the youth program on the island.

The Youth Center programs, operated by Dare County Parks & Recreation, have had a few temporary homes and are currently housed in an office building on US 64 near Manteo Elementary School.

The proposed new building would include a multi-purpose hall, offices, classrooms, games room, kitchen and washrooms and would have an on-site playground as well as 15 parking spaces.

“The largest space in this program, the Multipurpose Room, is to serve a variety of functions ranging from after-school activities to day-long vacation and summer programs,” says the Oakley Collier Architects report. “We anticipate a need for attendance of 80 children at maximum capacity.”

Oakley Collier was hired by Dare County and submitted an assessment and recommendations for the site earlier this year. Based on his assessment, the architects recommended a new construction project rather than remodeling the current building, which would be more expensive.

According to the assessment, a new construction would be the most desirable option due to the age, complexity and cost associated with a renovation, as well as the possibility of unpredictable and costly problems arising in the current infrastructure. .

As part of its recommendation, the architectural firm said “a new building will provide an entirely new life cycle with a more functional layout so that the space can be used to its full potential. With a new layout, we are able to meet Manteo’s requirements for car park and building design, ensure efficient site circulation and ensure a long building life with a completely new infrastructure and reliable.

Barnhill Contracting is the construction manager for the project and is currently in the process of getting an accurate cost estimate for the project, according to Dare County Project Manager Dustin Peele.

Elements such as horizontal cladding, pitched roofs, palisades and other features were incorporated into the design of the facility to fit in with similar Manteo architecture.

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