Selma Welcome Center relocates

Published 10:57 pm Thursday, January 29, 2015

By Blake Deshazo

The Selma Times-Journal

The Selma Welcome Center will have a new home soon. The center is moving from its original location near city hall and will be closer to the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

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The welcome center temporarily closed at the end of December, but the city plans to open up the new location at 14 Broad St. within the next few weeks, according to Mayor George Evans.

“Right now, it is a work in progress trying to get the facility ready for opening hopefully within the next two weeks,” Evans said. “Ideally, they plan to have it ready by Feb. 20.”

The city had to find a new building, Evans said, because a new tenant was set to move in.

“The building we had was offered to us by a family, and they allowed us to use it for the last few years,” Evans said.

“We had to maintain the building and pay utilities and do all of the upgrades and things like that. When they got someone to lease it for five years, it was a no brainer. It’s always better to receive money for your building than someone not paying anything.”

The new location is owned by the city, but it needs some fixing up before the center can open up.

“They are taking a building that has just been sitting there and trying to do all the interior work to get it ready for opening,” Evans said. “It is going to take around $5,000 to $6,000 roughly to do the things that need to be done to get it ready.”

The new Selma Welcome Center, Evans said, will offer more parking and be closer to the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

“We had a lot of tourists come through, and we had things to offer them and give them, and this [new welcome center] is going to be even better because it is right there at the foot of the bridge,” Evans said. “So when people go to the Interpretive Center, they can go to the Welcome Center as well. That is an essential part of making people feel welcome and giving them information about our city.”

The Selma Public Library is handing out information to visitors while renovations are being made to the new location.