County officials toured the new Board of Elections facility on Thursday.
The new facility is 4,100 square feet and will have better handicap access than the current BOE office, which is located in the basement of the Government Center. This building will have more parking available than the downtown spaces, as well as handicap spaces.
County Manager Lawrence Gatewood said that since this new location is all on one floor, it will be more convenient for those afraid to take the elevator and unable to negotiate the stairs.
In the front room, the board can fit 15-20 booths for early voting, which will help the traffic pattern on voting days, BOE director Steve Adams said. Other positive features include secure storage, natural lighting and a wealth of storage unavailable in the current office. A covered area outside the front door will be used for curbside voting, and a spacious grassy area to the right of the office will be available for canvassers on voting days, Adams said.
Gatewood thanked those who have helped with the transfer. “Dr. Fred Thompson and Jeff Rodgers of Anson Community Hospital and Carolinas HealthCare System have been essential in expediting the schedule and working with us on this project,” Gatewood said.
Minor repairs are being completed before the board moves in. Cracked places in the parking lot will be repaired, directional signs at the entrance and exit will be re-done, parking spaces will be repainted, and other small projects will be completed. The town of Wadesboro will repair the sidewalk in front of the office by February or March. Additionally, Gatewood said that fire extinguishers and Internet services are being added to the facility.
The building was formerly the office of surgeon Edward Blasko, M.D., with Carolinas Primary Care Surgical Services, which is affiliated with the Anson Community Hospital HealthCare System. It is located at 402 Morven Road, Wadesboro, to the right of the current county hospital.
Adams said he expects the board to move in during January and to hold an open house in February.