Smithfield youth center building in ‘superlative’ shape, architect says

SMITHFIELD – It was one item after another Wednesday for the City Council between annexations, animal rights regulations and resolutions. All on top of reports, including a detailed summary of a structural study done on the Youth Center building.

Allen Roberts, president of Cooper/Roberts Architects, conducted a study of the building three months ago and reported his findings to Mayor Darrell Simmons and the City Council.

“The building surprised me,” Roberts said. “The structural walls are superlative, and there’s nothing physically that would prevent renovation. It could be a multi-use building.”

A building with historical and architectural significance to Smithfield, the Youth Center building was erected over a 21-year span from 1881-1902 and currently plays home to a basketball court and recreation space. It was originally built as a religious building.

Roberts listed off 20 potential uses for the building — should the council decide to renovate it – ranging from a reception hall to a senior wellness center to a farmer’s market.

Roberts said the building has a few essential needs such as a seismic upgrade and up-to-date electric utilities, but that no foundation cracks or significant structural damage meant he had only a few minor recommendations.

The council took under advisement Roberts’ report, and will discuss further possibilities for the building.

The only item on the agenda that met significant opposition was the annexation of property east of Hillside Drive and south of Birch Canyon. Jay Henrie and Vincent Hansen requested the annexation for the development of a subdivision, but concerns were raised that the developing the entire plot of land would cut into the open space that Councilwoman Kris Monson said the council fought hard to keep years ago.

“We put a lot of energy into preserving that land above the power lines,” Monson said. “It brings that rural feeling to the city, and we don’t want to push the animals back and back.”

The council moved to adjust the parameters of the land to be annexed, as all council members supported the development but several shared Monson’s concern of going too far up the mountain.

Other items brought before the council were ordinances 12-08, 12-12, 12-13 and 13-01, all of which the council voted to move forward with. Ordinance 12-08, “Animal regulations for R-1 zones” was put on the Jan. 9 agenda for public hearing and passage.

Ordinance 12-12, “Appointment of person to represent Smithfield City on the Cache Mosquito Abatement District Board of Trustees” was approved, while the council approved the budget for the 2013 year (Ordinance 12-13) and set meeting times for the 2013 year (Ordinance 13-01).

The council will meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month for the 2013 year, with meetings scheduled for 6 p.m. unless otherwise posted.

Published in cooperation with the Hard News Cafe. Original story is here.