The town of Roseboro and its citizens are pondering renovations to the old train depot in downtown as well as working on an outdoor movie theater for the area.
“We are applying and searching for grants,” said assistant town clerk Sharon Williams. The town is hoping to turn the depot building, which at one time was used for the parks and recreation department, as a history museum for Roseboro.
“This has been on my calendar for a while,” she said. The town had applied for a grant to work on the entire park but that didn’t go through, yet Williams is not letting that get in the way of progress.
“We didn’t get the grant for the entire park but we are reapplying with help from the Adams Company out of Warsaw,” she stressed.
Williams asks that anyone who is interested in getting involved in any of the projects come to the NC STEP meetings in Roseboro. They are held on the third Tuesday of each month at the Roseboro Community building at 6 p.m.
Interest in the two projects was ramped up in the fall through the STEP committees, and town leaders have already allotted some money in the budget for the depot renovations.
“Most of that money will go towards the bathrooms,” said Roseboro Commissioner Alice Butler in a telephone interview this week. She said the bathrooms will likely take up most of that budget because they really are in dire need of some work.
And then there’s the museum project.
“There are some key citizens who are interest in getting a history museum,” explained Butler. “They have to step up.”
“They are going to have to make it happen,” she said. “A lot don’t have full time jobs. We need those citizens to come forward and actively work on this during the day.” Not only is the building going to need work, but there will also be displays for the museum that will have to have work done as well.
Butler said that she hopes citizens will form a history committee to get the program going, and perhaps work on a guided walking tour of the town to educate local elementary students on local services such as the post office and fire department.
“Maybe it could be half a day, and they have lunch in the park,” Butler detailed, mentioning that the town has a rich history with the old jail building and the train depot.
Gilbert Owen said the outdoor movie theater project is also in the works now as well. “We are in the process of trying to put together an outdoor movie theater,” he said in a telephone interview. “We would like to have it in place by the fall.”
“There’s a lot more to do,” Owen pointed out, adding that he hopes the new theater would bring in an influx of new people to the town as well as encourage them to visit the new businesses.
“The depot (renovations) is a long-term project,” he detailed. Both Owen and Butler are heading up the NC STEP committee for Roseboro as coordinators, and they are also looking for folks to get involved in these new projects.
“Hopefully this will attract more into the downtown,” said Owen. “Maybe even a part time job or two will come with it.” There are also several other projects in the works, he said.
“The next NC STEP meeting will be next Tuesday at the Roseboro community building,” said Owen.
The NC STEP program is divided into three different groups, each with a different strategy that is designed to boost the town.
One focus is attracting new residents, another is new businesses and real estate, and the third is about improving and fostering communication between the town both inside and out.
“It’s about making people more aware of what the town has to offer,” said Owen, adding that additional signage will be one step that will help them get that accomplished.
“We are also trying to develop a plan or policy to get an adult daycare center in town,” Owen divulged. The 18 month NC STEP program is going to get money into the town to work on projects that the town wouldn’t otherwise get to do.
“It’s a lot of work but we are willing to do it to benefit the residents of Roseboro,” Owen added.
Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd