Madisonville Reconsidering Old City Hall Demolition

City officials are now considering renovating the old city hall instead of demolishing it.

The old city hall in Madisonville could get a new life.  City officials say they're now reconsidering their original plans to tear down the building on Center Street. It's been empty for nearly seven years.

Until 2007, it was the heart of Madisonville city government, where decisions were made, where City Clerk Leslie Curneal worked as an executive assistant.

"Conditions were fair. Very congested building. The rooms were small," she says. "I was very happy to move to our new building."

But after officials decided to tear down the old city hall, they had a change of heart.

"The thought was it may have a more positive impact on the economic development on our downtown," says Madisonville Mayor David Jackson.  He adds they're now considering renovating the old building on Center Street, turning it into a year round meeting space with a stage built in.

"Have large garage doors on the side that could go up a story and a half or two stories that could really open it up on the outside," he says. "During the warmer months, we can continue to have our bands in there, which would help in the event of inclement weather as well."

The Historical Society of Hopkins County gave the city the authority to tear down the building for green space.  Jackson says the new idea came after a recent public hearing, with some saying it's still useful, and can still be the heart of the community.

"The feeling was if we did that versus creating the green space and the permament stage outside, create the inside space, perhaps it could be utilized year round," Jackson adds.

"I'm sure that those who are making the decision will be making the best decision for the community, and will put the building to good use," Curneal says.

Jackson says a decision on what to do with the building could be made in the next 30 to 45 days.

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