SCAD or VSU? Historical Society or Public Defender? Business incubator or state offices? Outside and inside. These and other ideas were brought up in the first of three Courthouse Preservation Committee meetings, 9 June 2014.
Baha Zeidan and Varian Brown wanted a business incubator. Judge Ellerbee said the way the courthouse got into a mess in the first place was people wanting to use it for many things in addition to courtrooms, and he suggested not going the same route again. Pat Sullivan suggested bringing in SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) and having them design the building before renting it as a local campus. Stanley Cox seconded that. Sullivan even volunteered his oldest downtown Valdosta building, home of ClientTell, for planning meetings. Gretchen Quarterman said to be sure Valdosta Farm Days, Juneteenth, and all the other courthouse lawn events still can happen in conjunction with whatever happens inside, G. Norman Bennett said it would be a natural location for the Historical Society. Glenn Gregory told stories of historic preservation and suggested VSU, state offices, or the Public Defender, plus he noted there’s another courthouse by the same architect, in Abbeville, GA. They even let somebody speak who hadn’t signed up: Valdosta Mayor John Gayle, who cautioned that the longer it sits, the more it deteriorates.
Here are links to each video, followed by a playlist. Continue reading