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STEPS Toward A Roof

PRINCE EDWARD – Southside Training Employment and Placement Services (STEPS) may soon be getting some roof work for the STEPS Centre.

County supervisors, meeting in a budget work session earlier this year, agreed to receive grant funds and approved a $350,000 appropriation. Prince Edward received $668,002 in 2011 from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) to assist STEPS with the replacement of the HVAC system in the STEPS Centre building. With that project now done, the County was notified the additional $350,000 is available to assist with the replacement of the roof.

DMME, it was noted in a memo to the board, was willing to award the funds through an amendment to an existing grant agreement with the County and the contract between TRANE and the County. There would be no local funds required.

Still, it is not enough to completely redo the whole roof.

“…We have not been able to identify funding to do the balance of that roof,” STEPS Executive Director Sharon Harrup told The Herald. “So, at this point, I believe the master plan is to go ahead and have the engineering studies done and then start at one end of the building and then work forward as far as the $350,000 will take us.”

The roof of the building, the former Craddock Terry shoe factory, is believed to have long been a problem, though some areas are better than others. The section over the secure document destruction operation, for example, has been replaced. The additional funds are expected to get them a little over halfway on the work.

Ms. Harrup expressed hope that within the next six months to a year they might be able to “identify some other type of maybe low interest loan that could then pick up and finish the building, but…the 350 is a godsend because it will at least get the roofing done on the part of the building that is the most damaged and compromised.”

There is a timeframe for the money to be spent and Ms. Harrup added that once the contract comes down to the county administrator's office from the state they will be in a huge push to get the work completed.