by: Dave Faherty Updated:
MORGANTON, N.C. - Nearly a dozen buildings in downtown Morganton could soon be abandoned by the state.
Those building sit on the campus of Broughton Hospital where construction is underway for a new facility. Work is underway for the new $154 million state-of-the-art psychiatric facility.
City leaders said there isn’t a plan or money for the 12 buildings that will be vacated when the new hospital opens.
One of the buildings has more than a quarter of a million square feet in it and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places but starting late next year. All of the buildings will be abandoned.
Neighbors, who see the historic dome of the Avery building every day, are worried about what will happen to the buildings.
"They've been in this area for years. There is a lot of history in these older buildings,” said Mary Pritchard.
"I think it would be nice if they use some of the buildings for a nursing home for some of the elderly,” said Norma Michael.
The city of Morganton is also working to keep the buildings in use.
Lee Anderson is the director of development and design services and said the buildings will quickly deteriorate once the power is shutoff.
"It is very important to us not to see those buildings rundown and just become vacant. There is great opportunity for adaptive reuse,” Anderson said.
Even though much of the move won't happen until early 2016, time is not on the city’s side. There is no state funding for the old buildings and that's why local leaders are stepping up efforts now to get something done.
"We've asked them to at least implement a study to start looking at these issues,” Anderson said.
Channel 9 learned city leaders will meet as early as next week with both the state department of commerce and the governor's office to discuss the future of these buildings.
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