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New Complex Nearing Completion

New Complex Cad Drawing

New Complex Cad Drawing

The new performing arts center and gymnasium at smoky mountain high school is moving ever closer to a mid April opening. According to county manager chuck Wooten the construction is completed with most of the work now being done is in the final finish work stages. The striping to the lines to the basketball court were being completed on Tuesday. The fire and sprinkler inspections to the auditorium area are complete, and only correction issues remain. This eleven point four million dollar facility will seat fifteen hundred spectators for sporting events in the gymnasium  and 754 seats for a performance in the theater. It is expected the facility will be open in time to host several end of the school year performances.The Jackson county commissioners earmarked a portion of the local sales tax revenue to go toward the debt retirement of the of the ten million dollar construction loan.

Judaculla Rock Controversy

Judaculla Rock

Judaculla Rock

A state archaeologist won’t help a film company prepare a documentary on Judaculla Rock out of fears the History Two Channel program will consist of unscientific programming that inaccurately distorts the ancient site’s origins. Pisgah National Forest Archaeologist Scott Ashcraft, who also serves as director of N.C. Rock Art, urged Jackson County in a Monday, March 10, email to “scrutinize” a request by Committee Films to visit Judaculla Rock. Judaculla Rock is a large soapstone boulder in the Caney Fork community containing hundreds of mysterious, carved symbols. Commissioners issued at filming permit to “Committee Films” the production company working on the project for History Channel. County Leaders said although there is controversy twards filming of the episode, this could be good publicity for Jackson County. Two years ago, 133 acres of land around Judaculla Rock were placed into a conservation easement. The J.B. Parker family donated the property to Jackson County in 1959.

ABC Board-Merger Negotiations

liquor-1221-1280x960Sylva town leaders want to restart the ABC board-merger negotiations with county commissioners that stalled a year ago, and they plan to send a proposal this week. An ABC store will open this spring in Cashiers. Once it does, the town stands to lose significant revenue from its ABC store in the East Sylva Shopping Center. Country clubs, restaurants and other establishments in the Cashiers area get their liquor through the Sylva ABC store, a $320,000 boost that’s about to evaporate. Jackson County voters approved the countywide sale of alcoholic beverages in May 2012; commissioners then pushed forward with opening a liquor store in the southern end of the county. There’s been talk of opening a store in the Qualla area as well.